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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 31: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) areas accounted for nearly 50 per cent of the 2,576 cumulative dog bite cases recorded in Kuching Division in 2022.
Raising awareness on rabies prevention in the community, MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang disclosed that 1,259 dog bite cases occurred in areas under MPP’s jurisdiction last year, which is equivalent to 48.9 per cent of total cases in Kuching Division.
“In Epid Week 1 (Jan 1-7, 2023), 45 animal bite cases were recorded in Kuching Division, and of that 23 cases occurred in MPP areas.
“According to random dog sampling data received from the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak, there are 13 dog samples confirmed positive for rabies in MPP areas last year,” he told a press conference after chairing a full council meeting at MPP’s headquarters in Mile 10 here today.
With 86 per cent of the dog bite cases from pet dogs, Lo reminded pet owners that it is important to vaccinate their pets and keep their pets indoors, instead of allowing them to roam freely with strays, to prevent rabies infection.
The areas which saw positive rabies cases were Batu 11, Kampung Quop, Beverly Hill Batu 13, Kampung Sungai Tapang, Batu Kawah, Kampung Jawa, Kota Sentosa, Batu 3 1/2, Kota Padawan and Batu 5.
Lo emphasised that the council has and is still carrying out stray removal activities at these affected areas as well as other localities.
“In 2023, MPP plans to continue activities such as mass vaccinations, dog licensing and microchipping with related agencies, as well as integrated rabies control operation involving agencies like police, IBETS (Immune Belt Enforcement Team Sarawak), DVS Sarawak and other councils in Kuching Division,” he added.
With the meeting focused on diseases of main concern occurring in Kuching Division, especially MPP’s jurisdiction, Lo also called on the community to unite to maintain cleanliness of surroundings and destroy any potential Aedes mosquito breeding grounds to prevent dengue.
“Last year, a total of 57 dengue fever cases were recorded in MPP areas. There were four dengue outbreak localities identified, namely Stapok Selatan, Everbright Park, Taman Phoenix and Kampung Karu,” he said.
Last year, 16,165 premises were inspected including shops, residential areas and schools with prevention activities such as fogging carried out in locations with high Aedes index scores after inspection.
“Fogging is only effective to kill adult mosquitoes. The key to preventing the propagation of the disease is to ensure our living environments are free from breeding sites by getting rid of all unnecessary empty containers, empty vases and other natural habitats that accumulate stagnant water.
“We need to be extra vigilant, especially during the rainy and flooding season to prevent accumulation of stagnant water,” Lo said.
MPP deputy chairman Senator Dato Cr Ahmad Ibrahim, outgoing council secretary Elizabeth Loh and other MPP councillors were among those present. — DayakDaily
Editor’s Note: Amended heading to highlight the overall total was for dog bite cases in Kuching Division, not Sarawak as orginally stated.