Bandar Seri Begawan - Because mosquitoes are able to carry diseases to hundreds of millions of people every year and cause a high number of deaths, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has prompted for the implementation of various programmes to control certain types of mosquito-borne diseases with focus on malaria, dengue and filariasis (also known as elephantiasis) diseases.
Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Mohd Yusof yesterday noted this in a speech during the launch of the Brunei Darussalam National Eradication of Lymphatic Filariasis Programme which played out at the Lamunin Health Centre to mark the start of the programme.
The minister said, the declaration stating we are free of malaria does not mean we can feel 'complacent' or negligent in controlling diseases brought by mosquitoes. The support, cooperation and involvement by all stakeholders, including citizens and residents of Brunei, towards the success of the programme of eradicating malaria should be inculcated together to continuously maintain a country that is malaria free.
He later elucidated several prevention strategies which included keeping our surroundings clean, discarding items that could serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes, wearing clothes that protect against mosquitoes, and to seek immediate treatment when signs of a particular disease begin to surface.
With regard to the trend of the dengue disease, he explained that the Ministry of Health is constantly monitoring the situation and sharing information with the WHO and countries in the region, ensuring we are working together to control and eradicate dengue fever.
"Elephantiasis is not a hereditary disease but it is caused by an infection of fine worms called microfilariae that are brought on by Mansonia mosquitoes," the minister explained.
In ensuring the effectiveness and successful implementation of the programme and other than using integrated vector management to deal with the disease, it is necessary for residents living in affected areas, to consume medication to kill off the microfilariae.
"I understand that residents in the affected areas involved are required to take two types of medication only once this year, and the consumption of the medicine must be repeated once more in the coming -year. Therefore, I call upon residents in these areas to be equally responsible in participating in this eradication programme," the minister said.
This programme, the minister believes, will certainly mark another milestone and achievement of excellence in health indicators for Brunei Darussalam when it comes to providing quality and comprehensive health services to all tiers of society.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin