SINGAPORE — With Singapore grappling with a record number of dengue cases amid its battle with COVID-19 this year, a youth development charity organisation has launched an initiative with seven Members of Parliament (MPs) to help vulnerable families tackle the dengue threat.
The Character and Leadership Academy (CLA) announced in a media release on Friday (11 September) that the #C19iMozzieRepeller initiative will see 30 volunteers reach out to 10,000 rental households, 5,000 migrant workers and 20,000 vulnerable individuals to offer them anti-dengue “Care Kits” and raise awareness on dengue prevention.
The organisation has identified several estates where there is a high number of dengue clusters as well as high density of elderly people.
These include Boon Lay, Brickland, Canberra, Fengshan, Henderson-Dawson, Hougang, MacPherson, Pek Kio and Sembawang. There are plans to distribute the Care Kits to Pulau Ubin residents as well.
Seven MPs – Lim Wee Kiak (Sembawang GRC), Cheryl Chan (East Coast GRC), Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC), Dennis Tan (Hougang SMC), Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson SMC), Alvin Tan (Tanjong Pagar GRC) and Melvin Yong (Radin Mas SMC) – have pledged their support for the initiative.
“The well-being of our residents is our utmost concern as we tackle the double-pronged challenge of COVID-19 and dengue,” said Chan.
“CLA’s #C19iMozzieRepeller project will provide a timely intervention to stem the rise of dengue cases among the most vulnerable estates.”
Care Kits, repellent wristbands, pest control service
Among the items in each Care Kit are an ultrasonic pest reject device, a bottle of insect repellent, informational flyer on how to prevent dengue, repellent wristbands, fresh fruits and snacks – all packed into a reusable dry bag.
The initiative also aims to distribute repellent wristbands to 10,000 Singaporeans and migrant workers. Each individual will receive two wristbands that lasts up to 300 hours.
It will also be reaching out to 200 households to provide a one-time pest control service against mosquitos, bed bugs and other pests. These households largely consist the elderly staying in rental homes or two-room HDB flats and below.
CLA has also created a portal where frontline workers and the underprivileged can sign up and request for the Care Kits. The public can also use the portal to request a Care Kit gift to those in need.
“While the nation is understandably focused on battling COVID-19, the perennial threat of dengue must not be neglected,” said CLA’s executive director Delane Lim.
“By providing this dengue Care Kit and spreading the word on dengue prevention, we hope we can reduce the transmission among the vulnerable, who are still reeling from the challenges of COVID-19.”
Record number of dengue cases
Singapore’s tally of dengue cases this year reached 22,403 on 5 August, the highest in a single year. With four months to go before the end of the year, the number of dengue cases has already surpassed the 22,170 cases recorded in 2013, which was the previous largest dengue outbreak in Singapore.
The country has also reported more than 1,000 dengue cases a week for eight consecutive weeks. The National Environment Agency reported more than 390 active dengue clusters on the island, with more than 600,000 households located in those areas.
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