Media Statement by Johor DAP Publicity Secretary and Senai State Assemblywoman Wong Shu Qi on 6th September 2016 (Tuesday):
The federal and state government should step up to combat Zika virus
The Zika virus has finally reached Malaysia. Malaysians who are travelling everyday and living just next to Singapore are now affected. Yet, the government is still not giving out enough information to the people on this serious life and death matter.
Johor DAP discovered that a lot of people were not properly informed about Zika virus when we were distributing flyers on the ground. People are asking for more information from government on combating the disease and protecting themselves and their loved ones. At the same time, we are still facing a prolonged dengue epidemic. The public is gravely worried about their health but not much is being done except a statement issued by Johor state EXCO for Health and Environment.
The government must realise that the dissemination of information is far from satisfactory as a lot of people are still in dark about the spread of the virus and its symptoms. Although the government has been putting up buntings about Zika at every immigration points, yet, most people have no access to the information.
We were told that the Zika virus is carried by aedes mosquitos. The number of dengue cases which are similarly caused by aedes is on the rise for the last one year. This twin information is a major cause of concern. If the government has so far failed to deal with dengue, how much more effective will they deal with Zika?
It is clear that mosquito repellent is but a minor form of protection although it is a very easily available and common one. The most important thing to do is to ensure cleanliness of the surrounding environment to prevent the breeding of virus carrying vectors.
As such the spread of the epidemic is correlated to the performance of local governments in terms of public hygiene.
Drainages must be well maintained to ensure no clogging and water retention which will become breeding place for aedes. Illegal dump sites must be cleared, construction sites must be closely monitored to ensure health and safety of workers and residents nearby.
These are basic services by the government, and in face of Zika and dengue, there should be no excuse by the government to do their job well. This is not only the tasks of the health department but all government agencies must work together to combat the virus and overcome the crisis. This is the time to test the efficiency and effectiveness of our governments. The price of an inefficient public service delivery is the lives of people.
To help in combating Zika, Johor DAP is now conducting a statewide campaign to raise public awareness on Zika by distributing flyers to every household. Meanwhile, Johor DAP will also be organising DIY workshops to produce homemade mosquito repellent. The details of the program are as follows. This is part of our effort to fight Zika together with the people of Johor.
||2nd floor at HAVN Café (Kulai)
||Kluang Community Centre
||Johor Jaya Community Centre
||Pontian Community Centre
||DAP Cawangan Bekok
Wong Shu Qi