World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that Malaysia is in the top 10 list of countries with the highest dengue cases globally. As of September 2017, a total of 69,603 dengue cases has been recorded in Malaysia. As if that isn’t worrying enough, Ministry of Health (MOH) also shared that 175 Malaysians have died from the deadly disease this year. Tropical countries like Malaysia are magnet to mosquitoes as they are attracted to warm, humid places with plenty of access to still water.
Despite knowing the risks of dengue, Malaysians have still not taken enough action to reduce mosquitoes population. Could this be attributed to the lackadaisical attitude that many Malaysians adopt? According to Health Director-General Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, inspections conducted on 4,214,306 premises nationwide revealed that 84.7% of breeding sites were found indoors at homes. So, do Malaysians feel that mosquito control is solely the government’s responsibility?
What’s The Reason Behind Malaysians’ Lethargic Attitude Towards Dengue?
A survey by Rentokil Malaysia on 1,000 Malaysians showed that 42% are not very concerned about dengue fever and Aedes mosquitoes. Others meanwhile, choose to remain ignorant about the perils of dengue because they have not fallen victim to it. Little did they know that there are at least 58% of Malaysians who have experienced or know someone who has been infected with dengue fever in the past 2 years.
Oftentimes, people tend to assume that thermal fogging, which the local council carry out regularly will eradicate mosquitoes, but this is a misconception. According to Dr Dhesi Raja, Medical Doctor at the Institute of Medical Research at the Ministry of Health, fogging treatment only kills the adult mosquitoes. Hence, it is important for Malaysians to realise that mosquitoes need to be eliminated at all stages of their life cycle for an effective control. This is because mosquitoes are able to successfully complete their life cycle, from an egg to an adult, in 6-10 days when the environment permits.
Joint Effort To Combat Mosquitoes
The alarming figures of the life threatening dengue are a warning that Malaysians’ reactive approach is not going to improve the situation any further. Instead of solely relying on our government, the public must also take proactive actions with the authorities in order to combat the widespread of dengue infections. The goal to bring dengue cases down is only realistically attainable if it comes from the initiative of every individual. In doing so, they will set an example for others and soon, more people will follow suit.
Efforts in maintaining cleanliness and destroying Aedes breeding grounds must be a priority for all Malaysians. Minimising mosquito entry takes practical effort and residents can always start by practising simple do-it-yourself tips such as: installing mosquito nets, trimming plants regularly, keeping doors and windows closed, keeping the room cool and most importantly, getting rid of any stagnant water.
Rentokil Fights Against The Bite with COHEP and Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM)
As part of their mission in ‘Protecting People and Enhancing Lives’, the leader in pest control, Rentokil Malaysia believes that getting rid of mosquito breeding grounds should be cultivated from an early age for a sustainable future. Educational talks are carried out continually in schools nationwide to create awareness on dengue and the importance of maintaining a clean environment through their Community Oriented Health Education Programme (COHEP).
Rentokil is also constantly innovating to provide sustainable pest control solutions. The Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) programme involves a holistic approach in fighting mosquitoes at every stage of their life cycle, through the combination of larviciding, water-based thermal fogging and the use of suitable mosquito traps. However, at the end of the day, it still boils down to Malaysians’ consistent collective effort in fighting against mosquitoes. It has to be at the top of everyone’s mind if we want to achieve a successful and long term prevention.
“To date, more than 60% of Malaysians still do not practise checking their homes for mosquito breeding grounds. The agonising impact of dengue among Malaysians indicates that people are still taking mosquito-borne diseases lightly. There’s only so much we can do to protect ourselves and loved ones when it’s already too late. Therefore, we need to play our part in taking proactive steps to prevent the danger of mosquitoes. At Rentokil Initial, our belief in creating a better community drives us to innovate from time to time to provide the best integrated solutions possible.” says Carol Lam, Managing Director of Rentokil Initial Malaysia.