PUTRAJAYA: Despite many initiatives rolled out by the Health Ministry, dengue cases in the country have risen by an alarming 122.6% from January to April this year.
In the same period last year, 23,717 cases were reported compared with 43,065 this year.
“Selangor recorded the highest number of dengue cases at 25,090 in these first four months,“ Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad revealed at a press conference after attending the ministry’s monthly assembly today.
He said prevention programmes have been rolled out by the ministry’s enforcement unit since the beginning of the year.
However, Dzulkefly said dengue is a disease which is difficult to eradicate in a short time, as mosquitoes breed continuously.
“We should all take responsibility to keep our homes and environments clean. If we don’t do this, there will be massive mosquito outbreaks, especially in dengue-prone areas.”
He said the ministry is prepared to initiate the use of Wolbachia-infected Aedes mosquitoes to combat dengue in outbreak-prone areas.
“The Health Ministry has set a target of 60% reduction of dengue cases by the end of this year.”
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was reported as saying that Wolbachia-infected Aedes mosquitoes would be released in 10 localities in the Klang Valley beginning July as part of efforts to stem the spread of dengue in hotspot areas.
The initiative is expected to reduce the infection rate by 60 to 70%.
The programme will see Wolbachia bacteria being injected into Aedes mosquito larvae, which arrests the development of the virus that causes dengue.