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Dengue control measures 'not up to the mark': Malaysian Health Minister

Dr S Subramaniam says failure to ensure adequate waste disposal has meant a rise in mosquito breeding.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam has called on local authorities in Selangor to "wake up to the reality" of the increasing number of dengue cases, and immediately remedy the waste disposal problems and that he said are leading a spike in the mosquito population.

READ: Malaysia facing dengue epidemic

"At the present moment, the level of dengue control activity shown by local authorities particularly in Selangor including MPPJ (Petaling Jaya), MPSJ (Subang Jaya) and Shah Alam is not up to the mark," the Malaysian Indian Congress Member of Parliament said in a statement on Sunday (July 20).

"They should probably reduce their other activities and concentrate on dengue control activities for the next two months. Our figure shows that most of the local authorities are only reaching about 15 to 20 per cent of the expected number of activities. This is one of the reasons why the number of dengue cases is increasing in Selangor."

Dr Subramaniam accompanied Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on a visit of dengue-hit areas of the opposition-held state on Saturday. For the year up to July 17, 50,804 cases of dengue had been reported in Malaysia, with 94 deaths recorded, according to Bernama.

"WAKE UP TO REALITY"

On Sunday, the Health Minister specifically called on the local authorities to concentrate on facilitating the disposal of solid waste, which he said is currently "a very poor state", leading to the breeding of mosquitoes.

"The collection of refuse rubbish and their disposal is not done according to the set routine and set programme; and as a result there has been environmental pollution, and this has increased the risk of the breeding of mosquitoes. It is high time the Selangor state government and the local authorities give serious thoughts to their solid waste disposable programme, identify its weaknesses and remedy it immediately," he said.

"I would suggest to the Selangor state government to come out with an interim measure to increase the efficiency of solid waste disposal for the next two months. Failure to do this will further increase the risk of the disease spreading.

"I hope the Selangor state government and the local authorities will wake up to this reality and start fulfilling their responsibilities so that the people would not be exposed to unnecessary danger."

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