Kuala Lumpur ; Communities that participated in the Ministry of Science Technology & Innovation (MOSTI) led social impact programme, Komuniti Bebas Benggi (KBD) have shown positive results in keeping the number of dengue cases down in their respective locality.
A total of 30 localities in 3 states – Johor, Selangor and Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur – participated in the implementation of the community engagement phase of the year-long programme. Independent monitoring by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Allied Health Sciences Faculty has drawn results to show on average a commendable 49% reduction of dengue cases after implementation of KBD when compared to the immediate period before the implementation of the programme in these localities.
This was revealed by MOSTI Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Madius Tangau, at a special event here today to initiate the distribution of the 100,000 Anti Dengue Home Kits that will be provided to all the homes which are in the 30 communities that participated in the programme.
According to Datuk Seri Madius, “MOSTI initiated this project as a direct response to the critical need to search for new sustainable approaches to fight the dengue menace, especially with the number of cases growing rapidly every year. Ours is an innovation driven approach. The Ministry has prioritised biotechnological advancement as one of the key sectors to drive national development, particularly under the 11th Malaysia Plan. KBD is a positive outcome from this emphasis, as we have now been able to see the emergence of a practical and sustainable methodology to fight dengue. This sustainable methodology is pillared on one of our Bio-Nexus investments, being the development of a highly effective biolarvicide known as MOUSTICIDE.”
KBD is a Flagship Project by MOSTI, and it is managed by its agency, Inno Biologics Sdn Bhd, together with technology partner, Entogenex Industries Sdn Bhd. The project, which was initiated in January 2015, has seen the creation of a Dengue Control Toolbox. This Toolbox is a metaphorical term that essentially denotes a modular methodology which integrates a set of physical tools developed from research and development in biotechnology, together with a social intervention procedure involving community engagement. What this does is to empower every community with the requisite tools, knowledge and a methodological procedure to contain the dengue menace in their respective community.
The Minister further added, “We are highly impressed by how the participating communities have come together under our Programme to form special purpose squads within their neighbourhoods. These squads are known as SKUAD BEBAS DENGGI, or SBD, and they play a pivotal role in activating the KBD programme locally. Such community involvement is essential to be successful in containing dengue, and with the KBD Programme they have a structured way to organise themselves as well as effective tools to eradicate dengue at its source, which is to kill the carrier, the Aedes mosquito, at the larvae stage”.
Moving forward, MOSTI plans to expand the impact of the KBD Programme to cover additional states, namely Perak, Pahang, Sabah, Melaka and Negeri Sembilan.