2 new initiatives for NEA's war on dengue

SINGAPORE - With the dengue outbreak showing no sign of abating, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is launching two new initiatives to keep the fight going.

New posters featuring volunteers, termed "dengue fighters", will be put up islandwide.

The Land Transport Authority and its contractors also signed a pledge to take measures to prevent mosquitoes breeding at all of its construction sites.

The initiatives were revealed to commemorate the ASEAN Dengue Day which was observed last Saturday in Hanoi, Vietnam.

A representative from the NEA was there to exchange knowledge about the disease and showcase local methods, such as how mathematical models are used to look for early signs of outbreaks.

The NEA said in a statement: "We commit to a concerted effort to reduce the burden of dengue in this region."

Dengue fever has no cure and two people have died so far.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu said that it is still too early to tell if the outbreak has hit its peak.

The disease usually peaks between May and October.

"It's still important for us to be on guard and not to be complacent," said Ms Fu.

Anti-dengue volunteers are being featured in the NEA campaign for the first time.

One of them is programme executive Felicia Goh, 31, who has been going door to door to hand out brochures for the past year.

The Nee Soon South resident said the recent deaths have alarmed many people and raised their level of awareness.

She said: "Fighting dengue depends very much on the social responsibility of the public."

The Dengue Prevention Volunteer Group has around 2,000 members who have visited more than 700,000 homes since the start of the year to educate people on how to keep dengue at bay.

Videos in the four main languages and three Chinese dialects have also been posted on YouTube, providing tips on how to guard against the mosquito-borne disease, such as how best to spray pesticide.

chpoon@sph.com.sg


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