KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 – Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Krishna Kumar has urged the public to do its part to combat the spread of dengue in the country. This was in response to DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago’s repeated call on the government to declare a national emergency to combat the dengue pandemic. Dr Krishna said members of the public needed to change their habits for the country to have a chance to curb the spread of dengue. He said the responsibility for this was not just in the hands of the Health Ministry.
“The general public must be the first to be involved. “They must make sure they practise proper hygiene and make sure they dispose of garbage properly,” he said when contacted. Dr Krishna said garbage thrown into drains and rivers would eventually clog them and raise the stagnant water levels until the point that they started overflowing. “The general public must do their part to eradicate mosquito-breeding areas so that they can eventually eradicate the disease.
“Everyone is leaving the job to someone else. If we keep thinking that it is someone else’s job, then the matter will never be sorted out. Apathy is our biggest problem.” He said it was also crucial that those who fell sick with fever and body aches sought help at the early stage if they experienced such symptoms of dengue. “They should not wait for it to become really bad before they go to the doctor. “One more thing is for them to stop this culture of doctor-hopping. They must see the same doctor so that the doctor will know that the patient has had fever for many days.
“General practitioners also can take their own initiative to check for dengue when they come across a patient who has had fever for more than three days.” He said it was normal for private hospitals to refer patients to government hospitals once the cases had become too “complicated”.
“Once it involves transfusion of blood products, it would be difficult for private hospitals to manage the patient, which is why they refer them to government hospitals,” said Dr Krishna. Yesterday, Santiago had told that he hoped that all government agencies, enforcement officers, local councils and non-governmental organisations were mobilised to more effectively fight the menace. According to the government dengue portal I-Dengue, there have been more than 34,000 cases since January, with more than 100 deaths.