Unit to tackle rodent menace

Unit to tackle rodent menace
File photo

KOTA BARU - The Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM), hit with a massive rat infestation problem, has set up a special health awareness unit that it believes will help restore the hospital to its clean and hygienic state.

It will be a long-term as well as a comprehensive and intensive approach to tackle the menace, said USM board of governors chairman Tan Sri Dr Zulkefli A. Hassan.

Two rodent specialists from the main USM campus in Penang will head the unit and oversee, monitor and implement measures to reduce or totally eradicate the rats and other pests, he said here yesterday.

Earlier, Dr Zulkefli chaired an emergency meeting to address the invasion of the rats and mice at the hospital which has posed a threat of rodent-borne diseases to patients and others at the USM Health campus at Kubang Kerian, near here.

Present were HUSM director Datuk Dr Zaidun Kamari and USM Health campus director Datuk Dr Mafauzy Mohamed.

Dr Zulkefli said the unit would look into measures such as health campaigns to inculcate cleanliness among the hospital officials and staff, patients and visitors.

The Star had exposed the serious rat and mice infestation over the past 10 years in a recent special report which, among others, stated that rodents from a nearby business centre had migrated to the hospital through sewer tunnels.

Dr Zulkefli said two pest control companies would help the committee, covering three zones of the health campus.

Apart from that, he said HUSM would gather more than 3,000 staff and campus residents for a gotong-royong to clean up the hospital grounds and that he would personally look into the issue.

He added that the board of governors would also meet regularly to get updates on the measures taken.

"The board will get the cooperation of the Kota Baru Municipal Council to assist us to address the rat infestation and other pests in the nearby business centre and the university complex," he said.

"I want to assure the public that we take a serious view of this matter and we are doing our level best to rid the pests from the hospital grounds and buildings," he added.

The Health Ministry has ordered the Kelantan health department to investigate the HUSM rat infestation issue.

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