Take threat posed by HFMD seriously, advises MP

Dr Yii demonstrating the correct way to wash hands at Tadika Sg Apong.

KUCHING, Sept 19: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii is calling for greater vigilance among members of the public, especially parents and teachers, and also the Health Ministry and relevant agencies in order to curb the Hand, Food and Mouth Disease (HFMD) outbreak.

Citing statistics from the Health Ministry, he said 59,584 HFMD cases were recorded nationwide from Jan 1 to Sept 11 this year, with Selangor registering the highest number of cases at 17,045. This is followed by Sarawak with 7,213 cases and Kuala Lumpur with 6,398 cases.

“Just last week, we received another report that a one-year-old toddler was admitted to Sibu Hospital sometime end of August. A medical test confirmed it is HFMD, caused by the Enterovirus 71 (EV71). The toddler is critically ill and is on ventilation.

“On July 28, a toddler from Kampung Pangtray in Daro, Mukah, died in Sibu Hospital due to EV71,” Dr Yii said in a statement today.

HFMD is a disease caused by the Coxsackie A16 and Enterovirus 71 viruses. They are transmitted through direct contact with the nasal fluid, saliva, blisters and stool of the affected individual.

Among the symptoms of the disease are fever, rash or blisters on the palms and feet as well as ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue.

Dr Yii recently visited SJK(C) Sg Apong and Tabika Perpaduan Ong Tiang Swee. He said the visit was to meet the teachers and pupils to raise greater awareness of the HFMD threat.

“Apart from having fun, interactive sessions with the children by teaching them the importance of washing their hands and basic hand-washing techniques, we also gave liquid hand sanitisers for the teachers and pupils to use.

“We also advised and taught the teachers and kindergarten staffs how to keep an eye for HFMD symptoms among the children. They were also told to contact the children’s parents to bring their children home and seek medical treatment if there is any suspected case,” Dr Yii said.

The teachers were also told of the importance of keeping their premises clean and practising personal hygiene, such as washing their own hands as often as possible, because they are the ones who come into contact with the children under their care.

Dr Yii said there are about 30 registered government and private pre-schools or kindergartens in his constituency.

“We will continue to play our part in promoting awareness to curb HFMD. We will visit as many pre-schools and kindergartens as possible,” he assured. — DayakDaily