Monday, June 04, 2007

Sunday Times (3 June 2007) - Citizen vigilantes step up fight against dengue

June 3, 2007

Citizen vigilantes step up fight against dengue
Singaporeans have been taking part in the war against dengue fever, calling the NEA's hotline with tip-offs. Here, an NEA health officer is applying insecticide to the roof gutters of a house in Yishun. -- MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
THE National Environment Agency (NEA) may have waged war on dengue fever, but it is still scant comfort to worried Singaporeans who have taken to alerting the authorities on where Aedes mosquitoes might be found.
Some write in to the newspapers. Others forward pictures of drains littered with leaves or refuse to The Straits Times' interactive online portal Stomp. But most are calling the NEA's hotline with tip-offs.
The agency got 2,502 calls last month, up from just 802 in April.
One man, at least, has taken dengue vigilance to another level. Mr Jeffrey Ho, 53, started a blog ( during the last outbreak in 2005 to track potential breeding sites.
He has been taking pictures of drains choked with leaves, water or litter, posting them on his blog and sending them off to the NEA too.
Since about three months ago, he began getting more contributions to his blog from fellow dengue watchers, some with pictures of other clogged drains around the island.
'Most people don't know which drain falls under which agency's jurisdiction, so it can be quite frustrating sometimes.'
All public roadside drains are maintained by the Public Utilities Board's (PUB) contractors while individual land agencies or occupiers are responsible for the drains within their premises.
So town councils would take charge of those in their HDB estates, while JTC manages those in their industrial estates.

Read the full story in The Sunday Times.


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