Keep ILKKM Kota Sentosa open to train East Malaysians, MoH urged

Yap (right) and Niponi appeal to the Ministry of Health for ILKKM Kota Sentosa to remain open as a training centre for Sarawakians and Sabahans.

KUCHING, Feb 13: The Ministry of Health has been urged to reconsider the possible closure of the RM22 million-training institute (Institusi Latihan Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia or ILKKM) in Kota Sentosa because it is the only local public health college serving Sarawak and Sabah.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Public Complaint Bureau (PCB) chief Wilfred Yap and SUPP Opar chairman Niponi Undek in a joint-press statement today appealed to the training division of the Ministry of Health to reconsider and continue providing training at the local public health college from July 2020 onwards.

“There is a need for more Assistant Environmental Health Officers and Public Health Assistants to serve better the local communities of Sabah and Sarawak to carry out preventive measures to reduce vector borne diseases (for example, dengue and malaria) and also to carry out enforcement and compliance duties in respect of applicable laws and regulations (for example Food Act 1985),” the statement revealed.

The statement also disclosed that Yap and Niponi had requested for a fair and just review of the Ministry of Health’s decision as ILKKM Kota Sentosa should remain open as a training facility because it is the only local public health college serving Sabah and Sarawak. There are currently four other ILKKM facilities in West Malaysia, namely ILKKM Sg Buloh in Selangor, ILKKM Ipoh in Perak, ILKKM Seremban in Negeri Sembilan and ILKKM Alor Setar in Kedah.

Meanwhile, Niponi, who was the director of ILKKM Kota Sentosa from 2007 until he retired in 2016, revealed he was recently informed that the Ministry of Health’s training division has plans to close ILKKM Kota Sentosa and that currently there are no further repair and maintenance works carried out at the facility.

According to Niponi, there have been no new intake of trainees since July 2019 and no reasons have been advanced by the ministry on why there are no new intakes.

He also noted that the original objective of ILKKM Kota Sentosa was to provide training to aspiring Assistant Environmental Health Officers and Public Health Assistants from Sabah and Sarawak.

“The courses offered at the local public health college equips the trainees with basic knowledge on personal hygiene, animal husbandry, environmental sanitation, health education, communicable diseases and its prevention and control, construction of rural water supply, latrine and solid waste and simple treatment of common diseases found among the rural population.

“Apart from the relevancy of courses offered, especially for the rural population of Sarawak and Sabah, it also gives opportunities to more Sarawakians and Sabahans to be trained and employed as Assistant Environmental Health Officers and Public Health Assistants closer to home and their families which is also more cost effective as Sarawakians and Sabahans can save on their air flight transportation costs to Malaya,” he added.

SUPP Public Complaints Bureau is always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone facing problems or who come across problems of public interest but does not know how to deal with it.

They may call SUPP Public Complaint’s mobile number at 016-7797688 or 082-246999 or go direct to the SUPP head office here to request for assistance. — DayakDaily