These volunteers will help to amplify outreach efforts to rally the community to take ownership in tackling dengue
JOINT NEWS RELEASE BETWEEN NEA AND PA
Singapore, 25 August 2019 – Collective efforts in the fight against dengue will receive a further boost with volunteers from the People’s Association (PA) grassroots organisations (GROs) and PA Community Emergency and Response Team (CERT) joining National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Dengue Prevention Volunteers, to further enhance public awareness of the common mosquito breeding habitats and symptoms of dengue, as well as proactive measures that can be taken to prevent dengue cases in our neighbourhood.
Growing Community Effort in the Fight against Dengue
2 Community-led efforts play a key role in protecting our neighbourhoods from dengue by tackling the problem collectively – whether by preventing mosquitoes from breeding at home, or in common spaces. Since the launch of NEA’s National Dengue Prevention Campaign on 7 April 2019, NEA’s Dengue Prevention Volunteers (DPVs) have been mobilised to support more than 1,000 dengue prevention events and activities in the 89 divisions across Singapore, to educate residents on common mosquito breeding habitats as well as the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout.
3 Over the next two weeks, 5,000 volunteers from PA GROs and CERTs will join the DPVs in conducting house visits in all 89 divisions, including areas with higher Aedes aegypti mosquito population, as well as at dengue cluster areas, to share information and tips with residents on how to prevent mosquito breeding.
4 Efforts by volunteers such as these complement ongoing house and ground inspections by NEA officers. Between January and June this year, more than 442,000 inspections were conducted islandwide, and NEA uncovered about 8,200 mosquito breeding habitats. To safeguard public health, NEA will not hesitate to take enforcement action against anyone found to have created conditions favourable for the propagation or harbouring of vectors. As of June 2019, about 1,200  enforcement actions have been taken against households for mosquito breeding. During the same period, about 60 per cent of the Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding habitats detected across the island have been found in homes, with this figure being even higher at 70 per cent in dengue cluster areas.
5 Mr Justin Foo, BBM, Chairman of PA Community Emergency and Engagement (C2E) Council EXCO said: “Over the years, our C2E and CERT volunteers, together with other grassroots volunteers, have been conducting regular house visits to educate residents on dengue preventative measures. Dengue prevention requires ongoing concerted efforts from everyone in the community. Given their familiarity with the residents, these volunteers are more likely to be welcomed as they go door-to-door, making it more effective in spreading dengue prevention messages.
Facilitating Proactive Dengue Prevention Efforts
6 To supplement existing vector control efforts, NEA announced on 23 August 2019 that it is providing information on areas with relatively higher Aedes aegypti adult mosquito population, on the NEA website [www.nea.gov.sg/dengue-zika/Aedes]. This data is gathered from NEA’s Gravitrap surveillance system, and will be updated monthly. With the Aedes aegypti mosquito as the primary vector for the transmission of dengue, and its high population being one of the reasons for the high dengue cases experienced this year, such information will serve as a useful indicator for early intervention, to facilitate targeted action by key stakeholders, community partners and residents.
7 Since 2017, NEA has been using Gravitrap data to monitor the Aedes adult mosquito population and guide its preventive inspection of homes at HDB residential estates. About 50,000 Gravitraps have been deployed islandwide at HDB estates since 2017, with another 14,000 to be rolled out and deployed at landed estates and newly completed HDB estates from the second half of 2019. Through the Gravitrap surveillance system, NEA was able to detect and remove 21 per cent more mosquito breeding habitats in 2018, compared to in 2017. Gravitraps have also been effective in helping NEA remove a large number of Aedes aegypti adult mosquitoes, including infected female mosquitoes. Resource optimisation from such a data-driven surveillance system has also allowed NEA to re-deploy manpower for other urgent dengue prevention tasks.
8 Mr Chew Ming Fai, NEA’s Director-General Public Health, said: “With the elimination of mosquito breeding habitats being the key strategy to dengue prevention and control, concerted and collective community-led efforts to reduce the mosquito population at residential estates and public areas are important, to supplement the existing comprehensive dengue prevention and control efforts by NEA and Town Councils. We also hope that the sharing of information on areas with relatively higher Aedes aegypti mosquito population will enable key stakeholders, community partners and residents to work collectively with NEA to reduce potential mosquito breeding habitats, and thus lower the risk of dengue transmission in our neighbourhoods.”
9 NEA welcomes more volunteers from the community to sign up as DPVs. Interested individuals who wish to register can do so by contacting our hotline at 1800 2255-632, or by signing up at www.cgs.sg/volunteer. For more information on areas with higher Aedes aegypti mosquito population, please visit www.nea.gov.sg/dengue-zika/Aedes.
10 We encourage everyone to be an advocate of dengue prevention, and to remind his or her family members and neighbours to join in the collective effort to stop the dengue transmission cycle, by regularly doing the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout. All of us have a part to play in preventing dengue. The latest updates on the dengue situation can be found on the NEA website, stop Dengue Now Facebook page, and myENV app.
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For more information, please contact us at 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632) or submit your enquiries electronically via the Online Feedback Form or myENV mobile application.
 Provisional figures as of 11 July 2019