Friday, February 04, 2005

Larvae search, fine and destroy squad

Excerpt : The Star

By BEN TAN

The Gerakan Belia 4B Wilayah Persekutuan (Kuala Lumpur 4B Youth Movement), Health Ministry and City Hall started a house-to-house inspection recently as part of their Dengue Prevention and Awareness Campaign.

The inaugural joint programme between the three organisations started on Wednesday evening.

About 30 personnel, consisting mainly of City Hall’s Health Department officers and members of the Gerakan Belia 4B’s health unit took part in the four-hour operation which started at about 6pm.

City Hall health department officer Shaari Yahya (with torchlight) checking a drain for aedes mosquito larvae during the joint anti-dengue operation in Kampung Baru on Wednesday.
Present to brief the team was Dengue Prevention and Awareness Campaign 2005 chairman Dr Shawaludin Husin and adviser Syed Mohd Khusyairi Syed Yaacob.

City Hall was represented by its Vector and Pest division of their Health Department officer, Dr Norhayati Shaari.

The team was deployed from the Gerakan Belia 4B Wilayah Persekutuan’s operations centre in Jalan Raja Bot, Kampung Baru.

They visited Jalan Raja Musa, Jalan Raja Muda, Jalan Daud, Kampung Periuk, Jalan Haji Yahya Sheikh Ahmad, Jalan Raja Alang and Jalan Raja Mahmud – all in Kampung Baru.

The team members were shocked to find some of the houses in Jalan Raja Bot area were in deplorable condition. Stagnant water was found inside and outside two abandoned houses.

One of the abandoned houses also had various open containers filled with stagnant water and rubbish strewn all over the place.

The premises was also full of discarded clothing and pieces of wood, making the place a fire hazard.

A short shower did not stop the team from continuing with their inspection of 60 homes in Kampung Baru.

Earlier, City Hall personnel handed letters to residents to state the team’s intention to search the premises for mosquito larvae in open containers.

The practice was in line with their night operation where at least 12 hours of notice must be given to the house owners before the authorities were allowed to conduct the inspections.

Dr Shawaludin and Syed Mohd Khusyairi also took the opportunity to help City Hall personnel by distributing educational pamphlets and posters on dengue prevention.

Dr Norhayati said the move was a good way of inspecting the homes and serve on-the-spot fines to those whose homes were found to have aedes mosquito larvae.

“Most of the time we have a problem getting to the home owners as they are usually out working. However, with this new arrangement, we can be more efficient in carrying out our duties,” she said.

Dr Norhayati said the operation started early on Wednesday morning when notices were given to residents followed by the evening operation.

“The notices have to be served at least 12 hours earlier under our council’s by-laws to enable the inspection team to enter the house owners’ premises.

“From there we can carry out our inspection which includes a “search and destroy” directive if there are aedes mosquito-breeding grounds,” she said.

Syed Mohd Khusyairi checking to see the occupants of this home was present. The team had earlier pinned a notice on the door to say that they would check the house in 12 hours time.
On the abandoned houses, Dr Norhayati said the stagnant water was a good example of how it could become the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“We will inspect and follow-up with a “search and destroy” operation of the suspected areas such as these abandoned houses,” she said.

Dr Norhayati said this was the first time that City Hall collaborated with Gerakan Belia 4B to mount such an operation.

Syed Mohd Khusyairi said the operation was the first this year for the Gerakan Belia 4B Wilayah Persekutuan, under its Unit Tindakan Kesihatan programme.

“We plan to hold more of this operations in Kuala Lumpur and we view the joint collaboration with City Hall as a successful partnership,” he said.

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