JOHOR BARU: Flood victims in Johor are advised to observe and practice a high standard of hygiene to prevent the spread of typhoid and cholera.
State Health Department director Dr Selahuddeen Abd Aziz said apart from the victims, this also applied to personnel from the relevant agencies and food handlers involved in helping those affected by floods.
He said the department had distributed pamphlets to the district health offices to be distributed to residents affected by floods, and posters on hygiene to be put up at flood relief centres.
Dr Selahuddeen said those assigned to prepare meals for flood victims, volunteers and personnel on duty from the relevant agencies have been given anti-typhoid vaccination. “We are prepared to deploy our staff to monitor health-related aspects at flood relief centres in the event of more floods in the state,’’ he said when contacted.
He said officers from district health departments would conduct inspections to ensure toilets at flood relief centres are clean and in working condition.
He said with many flood victims taking shelter at flood relief centres, the possibility of typhoid and cholera spreading was high if victims failed to observe hygiene.
“They must make sure to drink boiled water and not straight from the taps as the water might be contaminated. Also avoid eating raw food,’’ said Dr Selahuddeen.
On another matter, he said patients suffering from non-life threatening and non-emergency cases should avoid seeking medical treatment at the accident and emergency (A&E) units at all public hospitals.
Dr Selahuddeen said the main role of the medical staff at the A&E unit was to give priority to emergency cases.
“However, there are patients suffering from mild symptoms such as coughing or even diarrhoea who come to the A&E unit for treatment,’’ he said.
He said while the staff would not turn them away, they would not get immediate attention as they have to attend to emergency cases first.
He hoped people were more understanding and go to the outpatient clinics at Jalan Mahmoodiah, Larkin and Sultan Ismail Hospital here which open from 5pm to 9.30pm.