AEDES mosquitoes are the common enemy of all Sarawakians, said Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh.
“We are now fighting a people’s war against a common enemy and every one must play a role in this campaign,” he said when launching “Jom Ganyang Aedes”, a dengue eradication campaign in Sibu yesterday.
Wong disclosed that of the 11 deaths from dengue in Sarawak this year, five were reported in the 27th week of the year. In that same week there were 82 cases of reported.
Three people who had died were from residential areas between Hua Kiew Road and Bukit Assek Road in Sibu. Two other victims from outside this area were likely infected after visiting the area.
Wong said up to July 11, Sarawak reported a total of 2,478 dengue cases with Miri topping the list with 550 cases followed by Sibu (536) and Kuching (295).
During a clean-up at Hardin Walk and Tiong Hua Road as part of the campaign yesterday, Wong was disappointed and shocked to see all sorts of rubbish scattered about in the residential areas.
“There were many bystanders looking down from their houses. Not one of them came out to join us. It’s like a no man’s land,” Wong said, adding that nobody seemed to take care of their immediate environment.
He said most of the original house owners had moved or migrated and they rented out their properties to people from the rural areas who came to the town in search of work.
“A house could be rented to several different families and the compound had became a common dumping ground for them. More rubbish were thrown into the drains in front and at the back,” Wong said.
He said people should immediately stop throwing rubbish indiscriminately as they were the ones who would be most affected by diseases such as dengue.
“Mosquitoes recognise nobody. Every one is the target. So every one must play a role,” Wong said.
The Minister said the Sibu Municipal Council and the Drainage and Irrigation Department would do their best clear blocked drains and repair bridges and culverts.
He added that the government would also disseminate more information related to health and hygiene to educate the people.