Dengue prevention campaign kicks off with new toolkit

Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan placing a wooden plant pot marker in the house of Mr Cedric Pereira at Jalan Chempaka Puteh on Nov 22, 2020.
Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan placing a wooden plant pot marker in the house of Mr Cedric Pereira at Jalan Chempaka Puteh on Nov 22, 2020.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan giving the new Dengue Prevention Toolkit to Mr Justin Leong at Jalan Chempaka Puteh on Nov 22, 2020.
Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan giving the new Dengue Prevention Toolkit to Mr Justin Leong at Jalan Chempaka Puteh on Nov 22, 2020.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The National Environment Agency (NEA) is running a new campaign to raise awareness of dengue prevention during the year-end period, spurred by almost 34,000 reported dengue cases this year.

As part of the campaign, Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan went door to door in Jalan Chempaka Puteh in Bedok yesterday to distribute NEA's new dengue prevention toolkit to residents.

The toolkit comprises a booklet with information on how to prevent mosquito breeding and bites, as well as a larvicide dunk for residents to place in seldom-checked areas, such as roof gutters, drains and water fountains. The larvicide kills mosquito larvae before they can grow into adults.

NEA had announced last Thursday its intention to distribute the toolkit to 75,000 landed homes, where it has found a higher incidence of both Aedes mosquito breeding and dengue cases compared with homes in private and Housing Board flats.

"Dengue fever remains a worrying public health threat, and as we go into the year-end we have to work together to deal with it," said Mr Tan. "NEA has been stepping up its efforts by increasing (the frequency of) inspections, as well as by working with the grassroots and community to increase the awareness of our residents."

The outbreak this year is the worst dengue epidemic experienced in Singapore, with more people infected and dying from the mosquito-borne disease than before. Close to 34,000 people have been diagnosed with dengue so far, or more than 50 per cent higher than the total seen in any previous year.

A total of 29 people have died from dengue this year - one more than the 28 who have died from Covid-19.

Before this year, the largest number of people who died of dengue in a year was 25 in 2005.

NEA said that it detected 6,800 breeding spots between July and September, most commonly occurring in domestic containers in homes, and discarded receptacles in public areas.



The tool kit includes a booklet with information, a Bti dunk and visual reminders. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2020, with the headline 'Dengue prevention campaign kicks off with new toolkit'. Print Edition | Subscribe