South West district ropes in gardeners to fight dengue

The mozzie-free operation in Singapore's South West District is turning to gardeners, in a bid to wipe out dengue there.

The South West Community Development Council, together with the National Environment Agency (NEA), launched Operation Mozzie-Free 2013 @ South West on Sunday.

Its aim is to reach out to resident gardeners who tend to the district's 78 community gardens.

Exhibitions, dengue prevention videos, talks and quizzes will be conducted at various shopping malls in the area. Student volunteers will also be mobilised to comb the corridors of Housing Board flats for potential mosquito breeding and hand out pamphlets to residents.

A check-list will also be distributed to gardeners. On it are preventive measure they can take. This includes the loosening of hardened soul regularly so that water cannot accumulate on top, storing containers under shelter and avoiding the use of canvas sheets as water tends to collect on the folds.

There were 443 cases of dengue in the South West District in the first 18 weeks of this year, up from 149 in the same period last year. There were 5,929 cases of dengue in the whole Singapore in the first 18 weeks of the year.