2ND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DENGUE FEVER SITUATION AND ITS CONTROL

SPEECH BY

YAB DATO’ MOHAMED KHALED NORDIN

MENTERI BESAR JOHOR

2ND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DENGUE FEVER SITUATION AND ITS CONTROL

AT THE DEWAN SULTAN ISKANDAR, UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA, SKUDAI

ON SATURDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2014

AT 9.15 A.M.

 

 

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

 

الحَْمْدُ  لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ

وَالصَّلاةُ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيْدِناَ مُحَمَّدٍ أَشْرَفِ الأَنبِْياَءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِيْنَ  وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِيْنَ

 

And very good morning.

 

Yang Berbahagia Profesor Datuk Ir Dr Wahid bin Omar, 

Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

 

Yang Berusaha PDG Ir. John Cheah Kam Loong (UTM Alumni), 

Chairman of 2nd International Conference on Dengue Fever Situation and Its Control 2014.

 

District Governor Andre Suharto from Rotary International District 3310.

 

Dato’ Ir. Lim Chow Hock, 

President, Institute of Engineering Malaysia (IEM)

 

Senior University Officials, Distinguished Guests and Speakers, Professors, 

 

Participants, Media, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Tuan-tuan dan Puan-puan hadirin yang saya hormati, izinkan saya meneruskan ucapan saya dalam Bahasa Inggeris.

 

1. First and foremost, praise be to Allah for his blessings that we can gather in this fine venue for the 2nd International Conference on Dengue Fever Situation and Its Control. I sincerely hope that all of you will have a very fruitful deliberation and sharing of idea.

 

2. It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Rotary International District 3310, the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) and the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) for successfully organizing and hosting this international event on Dengue Fever Situation and Its Control. I am pleased to see the diversified cooperation in the working committee that involves academicians, engineers, medical doctors and Rotarians that work together to make this conference a success. 

 

3. I was made to understand that the first conference was held in University of Phayao, Thailand on 17-18 January 2013. Malaysia is then chosen to host the conference for 2014. I believe it will be an annual event from this day forward. I truly believe that this conference will be able to enhance the cross-disciplinary collaboration between delegates with different backgrounds and experiences to combat the spread of dengue, especially here in our state and our country.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

(Statistics of Dengue)

 

4. Dengue is currently the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world. It is a major public health concern in our region. Experts have estimated that nearly 50-100 million dengue infections occur worldwide, resulting in 20,000 deaths. 

 

5. The Ministry of Health of Malaysia has reported that there are 56,810 dengue cases with 110 deaths occur between January to August 2014 throughout Malaysia. In the State of Johor itself, 3,236 dengue cases with 16 deaths have been reported. 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

(Dengue Prevention under Pelan Suara Hati Johor)

 

6. The state of Johor looks at the dengue threat seriously. In the implementation of “Pelan Suara Hati Johor”, we have outline plans to overcome and reduce the threat of the disease. Two of the key activities of the plan that directly addresses to overcome the spread of dengue include the stepping up of inspection of 10,000 housing areas, and engage communities’ participation in about 800 gotong royong activities in 2014 alone.

 

7. In addition to these activities, a State Combi-Committees, that involves various stakeholders to overcome specifically the threat of dengue, chaired by the Exco for Health and Environment for the State of Johor has been formed. This Committee will oversee and monitor all activities pertaining to dengue prevention and intervention of all 10 districts and spans over 100 local committees in identified areas throughout Johor. 

 

8. Given the threat and the importance of containing the spread of this disease, the state government feels that intervention activities that involve the communities are required to have some measurement of effectiveness. I also feel this conference is timely. What we need is the sharing of expertise and methods on how to address the problem and control of dengue in Malaysia. With a growing population densities, rapid urban development, unhygienic  methods of water storage and unsatisfactory sanitary conditions contribute to the spread of dengue.

 

9. The challenge now is how we can combine our efforts. We are fortunate to have here today academicians, vector control specialists, infectious diseases specialists, medical doctors, engineers, policy-makers, representatives from funding agencies, and others affected or infected by Dengue.  I feel that the engagement of you, as stakeholders, is key in the success of containing the this disease. Our community in Johor is progressing well in economic sense but the cost of a disease like dengue can be detrimental to us. I was told that the vaccines against the disease are in development, but the most advanced candidate will only be available by 2015. Therefore it imperative that the government and health organisations work together to ensure the control of this communicable diseases.' This is our mission, the pillar of compassion, of caring for one another, especially our defenseless children. So I am happy to be here to encourage this great effort that is taking-on this challenge.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

(Coordinated Efforts between the Public and Private sectors)

 

10. Dengue is preventable but it is a challenge for all of us. It is a socio-economic burden apart from being just a medical issue. This disease further has costly consequences; consider medical costs; the cost of caring for family members who has fallen sick; and the cost of absence from work. As such, regional and national initiatives should include but not be limited to focus areas of prevention, promotion, vector control, health management, and increasing community participation.

 

11. Public and private collaboration in prevention and control of this disease should always include community participation. As stated by the regional theme of this conference, "Fight the Bite" community intervention is by far the best and most effective arsenal that we have in fighting dengue at the moment.

 

12. Indeed, the issue of this disease is everybody's business. Dengue prevention and control is a shared responsibility. Health and non-health sectors should work pro-actively with communities in its prevention and preparedness. We must address dengue in a coordinated and united way. The establishment of coordination mechanisms between community working groups, health services, and local government structures to strengthen intersectoral coordination is the way forward, and I am please that this practice is very much in place in Johor.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

13. I am truly grateful to the organizers for inviting me and wish to congratulate the organizers once again for hosting such a meaningful event. My hope is that all of you will benefit tremendously from it and so will all of us. With the blessings and in the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind, I hereby declare the 2nd International Conference on Dengue Fever Situation and Its Control officially open.

 

Thank you

Wabillahitaufik walhidayah

Wassalammualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

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