Spike in dengue cases prompts early outreach

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health Amrin Amin (in blue shirt) sharing tips on removing mosquito-breeding sources with Madam Kung Ah Lor during a home visit yesterday in Woodlands as part of the NEA's dengue prevention outreach
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health Amrin Amin (in blue shirt) sharing tips on removing mosquito-breeding sources with Madam Kung Ah Lor during a home visit yesterday in Woodlands as part of the NEA's dengue prevention outreach programme. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

A recent spike in dengue cases has caused the total so far this year to exceed that for the whole of last year, prompting the National Environment Agency (NEA) to bring forward its annual dengue prevention programme.

The programme involves grassroots organisations and NEA officials raising residents' awareness about the spread of the disease and ways to curb it.

The NEA said 3,541 dengue cases have been reported so far this year, compared with 3,285 cases for the whole of last year.

Three people, all of whom were in their 70s, have died from the mosquito-borne viral disease this year.

The two largest active dengue clusters seen recently were both in the Woodlands estate, where 88 breeding spots have been detected this year. Of that number, 72 were in homes. A total of 239 dengue cases have been reported in the estate so far this year.

Yesterday, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health Amrin Amin, who is adviser to the Woodlands grassroots organisations, visited the homes in Block 834 Woodlands Street 83 with NEA officers. The block has had seven reported dengue cases this year.

The visits are aimed at making residents more aware of the ongoing dengue outbreak and to intensify their efforts at preventing the spread of the disease.

 
 
 

Mr Amrin also distributed bottles of insect repellent to residents and reminded them to do their part in fighting dengue, such as removing mosquito-breeding sources in their homes.

Calling on the whole community to help stop the rise in dengue cases, he said: "It is very important for us to work closely together because lives are at stake."

Apart from house visits with grassroots organisations, the NEA also partners various stakeholders, including town councils and construction site contractors, to spread dengue prevention messages.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2019, with the headline 'Spike in dengue cases prompts early outreach'. Print Edition | Subscribe