Start training next generation to fight dengue

It is alarming to read that dengue cases could reach a new high ("Fears of record dengue cases after 40% spike last week"; last Wednesday).

It is clear that vector control has failed, as evidenced by the 50 per cent increase in Aedes mosquitoes and 50 per cent increase in mosquito breeding sites found in January ("Anti-dengue efforts stepped up as cases could hit 30,000"; Feb 19).

We are left with just one strategy - changing behaviours and mindsets of Singaporeans through public education.

With the inexorable tide of climate change, dengue has become a scourge in tropical countries globally.

We must all recognise that dengue is here to stay, and will probably get worse.

We need to educate our next generation about dengue from a young age.

With more than 500,000 Singaporeans in primary to tertiary institutions, we have a good catchment to implement an effective dengue awareness curriculum. It is about instilling a sense of responsibility, good life habits and civic mindedness.

We will not see results overnight. But in 10 to 15 years, these young Singaporeans will grow up with dengue combat knowledge firmly embedded in their DNA, and they will collectively do the right thing when confronted with this nemesis.

Li Ze Zong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2016, with the headline 'Start training next generation to fight dengue'. Print Edition | Subscribe