Operation Mozzie-Free 2014 at South West raises awareness on dengue prevention

A 2013 file photo showing a dengue prevention pamphlet from National Environment Agency (NEA) left on the gate of a HDB flat
PHOTO: Operation Mozzie-Free 2014 at South West raises awareness on dengue prevention

SINGAPORE - The National Environment Agency (NEA) and South West Community Development Council (CDC) will be launching the Operation Mozzie Free Learning Experience @ South West today.

The Operation Mozzie Free Learning Experience @ South West aims to raise awareness on dengue prevention through informative wall decals that will be displayed in prominent areas such as community club and centres (CCs), libraries and heartland malls.

To further reinforce the message of pro-activeness and vigilance in dengue prevention, 'Dengue Fighter Kits' will be distributed to households during house visits by dengue prevention volunteers and students.

These kits serve as a reminder for residents to do the Mozzie Wipeout exercise regularly, as well as equip households with the knowledge and equipment to remove mosquito breeding and stagnant water.

The kits comprise of sand granular insecticide, an insect repellent, a dengue prevention booklet, pipettes and small transparent containers to use when checking for mosquito breeding, and some 'stagnant water warning' stickers.

"Dengue is endemic and Singapore has had a tough year fighting dengue in 2013. Despite the high number of dengue cases last year, our population still has a low immunity to the current predominant dengue serotype, Den-1. We need to maintain vigilance and keep our homes and community spaces free from mosquitoes-breeding grounds. Last year, approximately 70 per cent of mosquitoes breeding spots were found in residential areas. Hence, for Operation Mozzie-Free 2014, we will be distributing "Dengue Fighter Kits" to 5,000 households located in potential dengue hot-spots in the district as our stepped-up outreach efforts. On the community front, we will also up the visibility quotient of anti-dengue tips in areas like community clubs, libraries and neighbourhood malls across the district through the "Operation Mozzie-Free Learning Experience @ South West", which comprises a series of informative wall decals to remind residents to remain vigilant against dengue. The South West Community Development Council (CDC) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) (South West Regional Office) will continue to engage our community gardeners, students, grassroots leaders and other stakeholders, so that everyone can play a role as a dengue fighter. Together, we can make our environment a safer place for our loved ones," said Mayor Amy Khor.

Mr Derek Ho, NEA's Director-General of Environmental Public Health Division said: "The community plays an important role in dengue prevention and we urge residents to be vigilant and join us in our efforts to fight dengue. We encourage everyone to be an advocate and remind his or her family members or neighbours to join in the collective effort to help stop the dengue transmission cycle. They can visit www.dengue.gov.sgor check the myENV app to get the latest updates on the dengue situation."

Operation Mozzie Free @ South West is an annual programme organised by NEA South West Regional Office and South West CDC. The programme was launched in 2006 to raise community awareness of the dangers of dengue fever, how it is transmitted and to promote good habits that prevent mosquito breeding. Under this programme, a series of dengue prevention outreach initiatives are rolled out annually in anticipation of the yearly peak dengue season. These are targeted at community stakeholders who play a vital part in preventing mosquito breeding. Activities include house visits, anti-dengue patrols, dengue awareness talks and forums, school assembly skits and roadshows at shopping malls and community events during the dengue peak period.

Residents are also able to engage in interactive programmes via social media to help spread dengue prevention messages. These include the 'Family against Mozzie (FAM)' puzzle game app and the 'Operation Mozzie Free Goes Viral' YouTube Video, both launched in 2012.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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