NEA to fight dengue with online reality series

A REALITY series about the fight against dengue may soon be popping up on computer screens.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources plans to commission at least eight episodes on the virus and Singapore's efforts to contain it.

Each episode, which will last around five minutes, will star National Environment Agency (NEA) officers at the forefront of the fight.

Filming is expected to start this month and to be completed by August. The ministry said it will share the videos through its Facebook page and other social media platforms.

According to a tender document posted on government procurement website GeBiz, the series aims to raise public awareness of dengue and to encourage people to help stop its spread.

"Besides documenting actual events, the series should also feature our officers relating stories about what they do, the challenges they face and why they do the job," the ministry said.

More than 8,000 people have been infected by the mosquito-borne virus this year.

The number of infections is expected to rise between the hotter months of June to August, when mosquitoes breed faster, with dengue experts predicting that the country is set to face its worst epidemic.

Last Wednesday, 20-year-old Ang Yong Han became the first person to die of the disease this year.

Ms Pat Law, founder of social media consultancy firm Goodstuph, lauded the intention behind the series, but said its success would depend on the execution. A recent online video about water conservation by national water agency PUB was derided by some viewers.

Ms Law, who is in her 30s, suggested including interviews with people who have survived dengue. "The problem with dengue in Singapore is not a lack of awareness. It's arrogance. Most people still think dengue won't happen to them."

FENG ZENGKUN

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