Volunteers will amplify outreach efforts to rally the community to take greater ownership in tackling dengue
JOINT NEWS RELEASE BETWEEN NEA AND PA
Singapore, 2 July 2022 – The national effort in the fight against dengue will receive a further boost, with volunteers from the People’s Association (PA) grassroots organisations and PA Community Emergency and Response Team (CERT) joining the National Environment Agency (NEA)’s SG Clean Ambassadors in urging immediate collective action to break disease transmission. Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and the Environment, Mr Bay Yam Keng, joined PA volunteers at Boon Lay Drive today for house visits, to urge residents to remove stagnant water and potential mosquito breeding habitats, as well as take proactive measures to prevent dengue cases in the neighbourhood. Mr Baey also thanked the volunteers for their support in ramping up dengue prevention awareness, to stem the surge in dengue cases.
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 30 March 2022, grassroots organisations have provided strong support, with more than 500 outreach activities to encourage residents to regularly perform the B-L-O-C-K steps (see paragraph 8 for details) to prevent mosquito breeding, and practise the S-A-W steps (see paragraph 9) to protect themselves from mosquito bites in dengue cluster areas. Over 300 of NEA’s SG Clean Ambassadors have been mobilised to support close to 100 locations across Singapore, to educate residents on ways to prevent and protect against dengue.
3 Over the next two weeks, 5,000 volunteers from PA grassroots organisations and CERTs will join NEA’s SG Clean Ambassadors in conducting house visits in dengue cluster areas, to share information and tips with residents on how to prevent mosquito breeding and protect themselves and their loved ones against dengue.
4 Such efforts by volunteers complement ongoing house and ground inspections by NEA officers. Between January and June this year, about 389,000 dengue inspections were conducted islandwide, and NEA uncovered about 10,800 mosquito breeding habitats . About 50 per cent of the Aedes mosquito breeding habitats detected across the island have been found in homes, with this figure being even higher at 60 per cent in dengue cluster areas.
5 Mr Shepherdson Rene Jr Gerard, PBM, Vice Chairman of PA Community Emergency and Engagement (C2E) Council EXCO said, “Over the years, volunteers from PA grassroots organisations, along with CERT volunteers, have been conducting house visitors to engage and inform residents on dengue preventive measures. With the recent spike in dengue cases, we are concerned about residents’ wellbeing, and volunteers have been stepping up on outreach efforts. Dengue prevention calls for constant, concerted efforts from every member of the community. We encourage residents to be vigilant and look out for one another.
Concerted and Collective Community Efforts Needed
6 Singapore is currently facing a serious dengue situation. 1,173 dengue cases were reported last week, as of Saturday 25 June 2022. In total, close to 18,000 cases have been reported this year to date, exceeding the total 5,258 cases reported in 2021. Although the numbers in recent weeks have shown a decline, the risk of transmission remains high, as there are still more than 300 dengue clusters across the island. The weekly number of cases is still very high, exceeding 1000 cases, and we are in the early months of the traditional peak dengue season in Singapore.
7 Since the start of this year, NEA has been working closely with partner agencies and grassroots organisations in the areas of vector control, stakeholder engagement, and community mobilisation. For example, the National Dengue Prevention Campaign 2022 was brought forward ahead of the traditional mid-year peak dengue season, and a new purple-coloured banner was introduced to raise awareness at areas with persistently high Aedes aegypti mosquito population. Many grassroots organisations have stepped forward to join in the fight against dengue, by raising awareness among their fellow residents.
8 It is critical that all residents and stakeholders take immediate action to suppress the Aedes mosquito population and break disease transmission, by regularly practising the following Mozzie Wipeout‘B-L-O-C-K’steps:
- Break up hardened soil
- Lift and empty flowerpot plates
- Overturn pails and wipe their rims
- Change water in vases
- Keep roof gutters clear and place BTI insecticide inside
9 Those staying in dengue cluster areas should take additional steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Preventing bites from an infected mosquito will mean fewer infected people subsequently, which in turn reduces the pool of virus for mosquitoes to transmit amongst the community. The protective steps are‘Spray, Apply, Wear’or
- Spray insecticide in dark corners around the house
- Apply insect repellent regularly
- Wear long-sleeve tops and long pants
10 Members of the public are also strongly encouraged to download the myENV app, and set the app to alert them when there is a dengue cluster or high mosquito population near their homes. Every individual’s actions matter, and together, we can fight dengue and protect ourselves and our loved ones.
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 Inspection figures provisional as of 25 June 2022