SUBANG Jaya, one of the areas with the highest number of dengue cases in Selangor, has recorded a 40% drop in cases this year.
As of September, 2,945 cases with two deaths were registered in the municipality, said Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) deputy president Mohd Zulkurnain Che Ali.
He said many other councils throughout Malaysia also recorded a drop in cases.
He said it could be the result of the various efforts introduced to fight the menace.
“However, we feel this figure is still high, especially because Malaysia recorded 48,000 cases and 76 deaths this year alone,” he added.
As part of MPSJ’s efforts to tackle the problem especially at dengue hotspots, a special event called Generasi Sihat dan Merdeka was organised in conjunction with its Smart Generation (SmartGen) programme for 2018.
The event held at Sunway Lagoon Resort saw 60 primary and secondary schools gathered to learn ways to eradicate dengue and took part in the Free Nicotine project.
Mohd Zulkurnain said it was important to educate the community at a young age, especially among students, as they would be the future of Malaysia.
He said the council wanted the students to educate their friends, families and fellow students.
“These children are the ambassadors who will help spread the word. This is the second year we are organising the dengue campaign here and this year we have added the Nicotine Free campaign as well,” he added.
According to him, students must be aware of the dangers of nicotine as the habit usually starts at a young age.
He said based on statistics, most of them picked up the habit of smoking at the age of 13 and went on to become hardcore smokers at 15.
At present, there are some five million smokers in Malaysia.
“We might not make huge contributions to the nation but all of us can take small steps like keeping our place clean and changing our bad habits to make our country better,” he added.
Teachers found the event helpful in creating better awareness of dengue and smoking among students.
A teacher from SMK Section 1 Bandar Kinrara, Nurul Asyiqin Adam Shukri encourages smoking students to take part in these events.
Nurul Asyiqin, who is also a counsellor at school, said teachers could not force students to stop smoking but they could expose them to the consequences.
She said most parents were also aware of their children’s smoking habit but could not stop them even with disciplinary actions.
“Teaching them about this in school alone is insufficient, we need external help as well, which is why it is good to have events like this for our students,” she said.
Her student, Muhd Asraf Azuan, 16, said he would spread the word back in school and talk some friends out of smoking.
Another teacher, Noraini Abdul Rahim from SK Taman Universiti Seri Kembangan, said most of her students were unaware of the danger of nicotine and it was beneficial to expose them to it at a young age.
“Children in primary schools are not exposed to these, I feel it is good they find out about it now,” she added.