Saturday June 30, 2012
Perakians walk the talk to create awareness on dengue
By IVAN LOH
Photos by SAIFUL BAHRI and IVAN LOH
HUNDREDS of people from all over Perak pounded the streets of Ipoh during the national-level ASEAN Dengue Day 2012 and Health Exploration with the Community Carnival, last Saturday.
Carrying banners of various shapes and sizes, participants from local communities, schools and district health departments took part in a 10,000 Steps Walk to promote dengue awareness.
They trooped about 2km from Dataran Ipoh to Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah to Jalan Sultan Idris Shah and later, Jalan Raja Dihilir, before heading back to the venue site.
State Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, who flagged off the walk, also participated alongside deputy Health director-general Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman and state Health director Datuk Dr Ahmad Razin Ahmad Mahir.
In his speech read out by Dr Mah, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said while there had been a 57% drop in dengue cases and related deaths last year (19,884 cases with 36 deaths) as compared to 2010 (46,171 cases with 134 deaths), the figures were on the rise again.
“There has been an 18% increase in dengue cases this year.
“As of June 9, there were 10,706 dengue cases with 21 deaths reported nationwide as compared to only 9,079 cases and 14 deaths in the same period last year.
“It happens when people become too complacent and forget to carry out weekly dengue prevention activities,” he said.
He went on to stress that participation by the public was the best step in anti-dengue prevention activities, adding that to search and destroy all Aedes mosquito-breeding places each week was the most effective method.
On the health carnival, Liow said that people should learn to lead a healthy lifestyle by exercising at least 30mins over five days or walk 10,000 steps daily.
“Eat healthily and include vegetables and fruits in our meals,” he said, adding that local fruits and greens were easily obtainable, cheap and tasty.
He also urged those aged 30 and above to undergo health screenings, annually.
The two-day event, which was opened by Dr Mah, also saw members of the public taking part in aerobic dances, lucky draws, street soccer tournaments, singing and cooking contests.
There were also booths and exhibitions on dengue prevention and its carrier, providing valuable information to the public.