Desa Lembah Permai flats still a dengue hotspot

An MPAJ health department officer showing the mosquito larvae found in a restaurant at the Desa Lembah Permai flats.

AFTER 111 days, the dengue outbreak at Desa Lembah Permai flats in Ampang shows no sign of decreasing.

Despite Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) health officers conducting daily search-and-destroy operation, residents are still contracting the fever.

“We still find mosquito larvae during our checks.

“The residents do not seem to care that their area has been a hotspot since last year,” MPAJ environmental health senior assistant officer Rosmiza Che Harun said, adding 70% of the occupants were foreigners.

Since November, MPAJ has been using

the Ecosystem team approach in the area to reduce the number of cases, but that has had little effect.

This is an on-the-ground method where several teams of officers are stationed in specific constituencies.

“The officers need to be familiar and knowledgeable of their respective ecosystem and identify problematic localities.

“They are trained to identify localities at risk by spotting conditions such as open land, abandoned houses, blocked drainage, common public areas as well as construction sites and stores,” said Rosmiza.

To date, there are 72 reported dengue cases at the flats with no deaths.

“We cannot do it alone. Many of the residents do not want us to go into their houses to inspect for potential breeding sites.

“So, most of the time we can only check the compound (outside).

“But we also hand out flyers and advise them to carry out search-and-destroy activities in their homes,” she said, adding that if residents fail to do so, the officers would issue notices and compounds.

Rosniza said the team would carry out inspections within a 400m radius, in an area where a mosquito could travel.

She said this was necessary as there were two major highway projects nearby, with many potential mosquito breeding sites.

“We have to check these areas too,” she said.

Officers found hundreds of mosquito

larvae in one restaurant at the flats during the operation, including in a cooking pot under the sink.

Selangor Health, Welfare, Women Empowerment and Family Committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud recently revealed that dengue cases increased by 200% in the state compared to the same corresponding period last year.

There were 17,004 dengue cases this year compared to 6,138 cases last year until March 9, she had said.

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