There has been multiple warnings of an impending spike in dengue infections and an ensuing increase in dengue related deaths. In comparison to SARS or H1N1, there seems to be an oddly muted response from the Malaysian public. Perhaps the repeated news reports has caused public apathy, now numb to dengue, instead resigned to accepting it as part of the Malaysian scene.
Medical innovations has been slow to emerge. Dengue vaccines are on the horizon. But as of now, the only weapon are strict treatment guidelines, drilled into every doctor, hoping to recognise potential problems before they become catastrophic.
The most effective solutions are sometimes the simplest of measures. Public cleanliness.
There is a dangerous trend amongst Malaysians who appear oblivious to their surroundings. The false belief that others are entrusted to clean after them, is likely the undoing in this war against dengue. The sight of shrewn rubbish, overflowing rubbish bins, clogged drains, unkempt premises and the habit of throwing rubbish irresponsibly is all too prevalent in our society. It appears to be a gargantuan task to correct these in a short term.
Ultimately, it boils down to education. Our education system has failed Malaysia. It has failed to bring up generations that will be patriotic and caring. Instilling basic manners and practices are instead a chore in the system and not incorporated into the lives of younglings. Sadly, our education system is more of a playground for greedy politicians holding on to power.
Not only is the level of English, Science and Mathematics deteriorating, generations of Malaysians are graduating without basic common sense or a sense of duty to the country.
This dengue menace is a sign of our failings. Don’t blame it on mutations or a change in strain, blame it on the society that is becoming rotten to its very core.