No. 34, Street of Fame,
Taman Bukit Bintang,
14 January 2011
How are you? I’m sorry to hear that your cousin had dengue fever. This problem seems to have become very serious all of sudden. We always feel that the problem is not our concern until someone close to us is affected.
My neighbour’s daughter who was in Standard 6 last year could not sit for UPSR examination because she was down with dengue fever on the eve of the exam. Fortunately, the authorities gave her an exemption so she is now in Form One. There were also a few students taking the examination in the hospital.
According to the news, students made up nearly 30 per cent of the 1 500 suspected cases over the first three weeks of the year. About 53 per cent of 621 confirmed cases last year comprised children and youth under the age of 24. These statistics are quite worrying. This has prompted the health ministry to increase checks on aedes breeding grounds in school and public areas. The construction sites are largely to blamed. The problem is made worse by the rainy season. The stagnating water attract the mosquitoes to lay egg and breeding on the areas.
The authorities have taken various steps to control the situation. Fogging has been carried out in many public areas and most of the housing estates. Contractors at the construction sites have been instructed to take appropriate actions and warned to clean up. They could be fined up to RM 3 000 for breeding aedes mosquitoes. Lot of campaigns through the television, radio and newspapers were taken to make people aware of the issue and take precaution rather than cure them.
Before the long holidays for the Chinese New Year, schools all over Malaysia carried out a clean-up campaign of the school compound. The residents’ association in my housing are also organised a family day clean-up of the housing estate. There were huge piles of rubbish especially old tyres and containers littered by the hawkers near the might market site.
The situation in Malaysia has improved since the end of January. There have been no reports of new cases of dengue. So, don’t worry. You can bring your family for a holiday here in June. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
Send my regard to your mom and dad. Do take care.