Action may be taken against premises with high frequency of HFMD

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 01 Aug 2018

The Health Ministry may consider taking action against premises that record a high frequency of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the owners and visitors of the premises, such as childcare centres, must prioritise cleanliness.

He said this during the ministerial question time to a supplementary question raised by Wong Kah Woh (PH-Ipoh Timur) yesterday.

Wong had asked him to state the statistics of the HFMD outbreak that happened in childcare centres, preschools and kindergartens.

Dr Dzulkefly said that HFMD is an endemic that happens throughout the year.

The disease, he added, is closely related to hygiene and cleanliness of the environment. From January till July 29, a total of 39,408 cases were reported, with Selangor having the highest number of cases.

“Selangor has 11,669 cases, followed by Kuala Lumpur (4,552), Sarawak (4,551) and Kelantan (1,666),” he said.

Dr Dzulkefly added that the ministry is also working with other agencies to contain the outbreak of HFMD through a campaign.

The campaign, to be carried out intensively for three weeks, involved all preschools, kindergartens and childcare centres.

It will focus on five main agenda, including hygiene, gatekeeping screening and disinfection of premises.

A 17-month-old boy in Penang was the first fatality in the country due to the disease. He died on June 6.

On July 21, a two-and-a half-year- old boy from Mukah, Sarawak, is also believed to have died due to HFMD.

The boy was reported to have fever on July 17 and developed rashes on his hands and feet and mouth ulcers the next day.

However, it was also reported that the boy’s death was due to severe lung infection with HFMD infection.

Meanwhile, in his winding up address for his ministry, Dr Dzulkefly said mental health campaign would be enhanced to feature a focus on getting rid of social stigma.

He said some do not seek treatment because of the negative view on mental health.

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