IN just a span of a month, I have personally learned of a few friends and people I know getting infected by dengue. Some landed in hospital while others experienced mild symptoms. Weekly reports from the Subang Jaya City Council have not shown any signs that dengue cases are on the decline.
From several walkabouts in neighbourhoods, I have come to the conclusion that people don’t give to hoots about dengue; always thinking “it won’t happen to me”. Despite several reminders to seek and destroy any potential breeding spots in their house compound and also inside their homes, house owners continue to be in denial and complacent about the risk of infecting dengue.
Recently, MBSJ MPP Zon 3 councillor Lee Jen Uyin and I took a walk along a few streets in the neighbourhood. It was a scorching hot Friday mid-morning. We approached a few house owners who happened to be outside and alerted them that their neighbourhood was a hotspot for dengue. Most acknowledged the situation and promised to check and clean up.
But one particular resident was bent on not making our task easy. We found his corner house compound filled with old furniture, rubbish and discarded old car tires. We were taking some photographs from outside when we heard a shout “What are you doing?” from a window upstairs.
A man peered through the half opened window looking menacingly at us. He started taking photographs of us from his window while accusing us of entering his property. Councillor Jen identified herself to be from MBSJ and we reassured him that we had not entered his property. We also reminded him that the neighbourhood was a hotspot for dengue; and indiscriminate dumping and piling up his rubbish in the garden was a NO No. He grudgingly said he would be clearing it in a few days’ time and we left.
Within the hour, an MBSJ officer arrived at the gates of the house to drop off a notice to clean up the premises within a period of time. Failure to do so by the owner would trigger action by the council to enter the premises to clean up and also issue a hefty compound especially if mosquito larvae were to be found in any containers stagnant with water.
Thankfully, the occupant of the house cleared up his compound within a few days. Although it was a hassle convincing him at first, at least we are relieved that he did what we asked of him. Perhaps, maybe, this was the hotspot that created the dengue outbreak in that particular neighbourhood. But we cannot be sure and complacent. Every house owner has to take the time to check their compound and homes to seek and destroy any potential Aedes breeding ground.
Tackling one single house and eradicating a potential breeding spot is the tip of the iceberg. We can only do so much in reminding residents of the risk of getting infected by dengue. By the time you feel feverish and start developing symptoms, it will be too late. Dengue can cause death; just like Covid-19 can.
We need to pull up our socks, roll up our sleeves and start cleaning up our own homes. Clear up the back lanes and make sure they don’t breed anything that will put our health and lives at risk. It’s never too late to start. Let’s begin today.
In this month’s edition, you will notice things have picked up momentum in the community. More gatherings and activities are being organised and people are getting back to their normal lives as we enter the second half of 2022.
Have a good and safe month ahead folks.