Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Singapore government is not up to the challenge to make country dengue-free

Even at this critical juncture, the government is not confident enough to come up with a "stretch" goal in reducing dengue cases, as noted by Dr Yaacob's response to NMP Tan during parliament session on 19 Sept 2005 (exchange reproduced below). I had challenged the Prime Minister and his Ministers (refer my postings on Sept 1 and 7: Make Singapore dengue-free) to bring infection down to ZERO within a targetted time frame for the short term (6 months or even a year?) but obviously, the government is not up to the challenge. Talk about KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)!! I feel MPs (including NMP Tan) should not just accept the response without persisting that targets be set (even if it is not down to ZERO), otherwise all the momentum may be lost, and we're back to square one a year down the road....It is important that long term targets be set too as whatever measures put in place now must be sustainable.

Extract of exchange between Nominated MP Tan Sze Wee and Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Straits Times, 20 Sept 2005:

"NMP Tan: Is there any expectation of the reduction in terms of dengue infection rates? We're talking about 130 to 150 a day being reported now. What is the expectation with these measures put in?

Dr Yaacob: It's a very difficult for all of us to really put down the number because the relationship between breeding sites and the number of dengue cases is indeed very complex. .... If you ask me and members of the committee and the Government, obviously we want to reduce it as much as possible in the shortest possible time."


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