Aedes rangers effective in reducing incidence of dengue

EDWARD RAJENDRA and MELIZARANI T. SELVA at the Selangor State Assembly

THE fight against dengue in Selangor has been effective and local councils are asked to continue to involve the people for better results.

Selangor Health, Welfare, Women and Family Affairs Committee chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi said health inspectors at local councils had worked with residents associations, the Rukun Tetangga sector and village heads on programmes engaging the people to identify Aedes mosquito breeding areas and clean up the sites.

The initiative, known as Search and Destroy Aedes Rangers (Sedar) programme, activated a community-based participatory approach to identify ways to reduce the incidence of dengue in residential areas.

Dr Daroyah, who spoke outside the state assembly, said the Sedar programme gave information on dengue and its symptoms, how it is transmitted and what people could do to prevent and stop the transmission.

“Our dengue figures are much fewer in the last three months compared to the same period last year. The people were instrumental in working with health officers and local council workers,” she said.

As of March 25, the state recorded 11,598 dengue cases with 12 deaths compared to the same period last year, there were 18,204 cases and 29 deaths.

Dr Daroyah said although feedback showed that Selangor folk were more aware of the disease, the state wanted everyone to stay vigilant and work as a community to prevent dengue cases from rising. “We must take heed that with the current hot weather and rain in the evenings, breeding sites will increase,” she said.

She added that the hot weather and rain could accelerate the breeding and maturation cycles for the Aedes mosquito and shorter incubation periods for the virus.

“All residents need to intensify efforts to remove mosquito habitats. One simple way is to take 10 minutes a week to check the surrounding area of the house and sprinkle salt in the garden. Another area to look out for is the clogged roof gutters,” she said.

Dr Daroyah added that community-led efforts were as important as the local council’s Health Depart­ment vector control unit in helping to reduce the mosquito population and stem dengue transmission.

“Eradication of mosquito breeding habitats and spraying of insecticides to control the adult mosquito population remains the main thrust to dengue prevention,” she said.

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