10,000 new volunteers to boost anti-dengue efforts

Efforts to tackle the dengue outbreak will receive a boost with the recruitment of 10,000 volunteers, under a new initiative launched on Saturday.

Also known as "dengue fighters", the volunteers will be provided by the People's Association (PA) to complement ongoing house visits by National Environment Agency (NEA) officers. These volunteers - which include grassroots leaders and town council cleaners - will go door-to-door in 9,000 public housing blocks and 1,000 private estates to distribute mosquito repellent, and share tips and information with residents.

PA chief executive director Ang Hak Seng said he hoped to achieve a "higher penetration" of public health messages while creating a "greater sense of community ownership" by appointing a volunteer for each block.

"We need a concerted community effort that covers every block and neighbourhood in Singapore, he said.

The new volunteers will help the work of the Dengue Prevention Volunteer Group (DPVG). This group under NEA has some 2,000 volunteers who have visited more than 700,000 homes since the start of the year.

They will be trained to recognise dengue symptoms and spot potential breeding sites, and taught dengue preventive skills.