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Short Note -2

Legislation for Dengue Control in Malaysia∗


by
Tham Ah Seng#
Senior Entomologist, Vector-Borne Disease Branch, Ministry of Health, Jalan Cenderasari,
0584 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In Malaysia, there are three laws and Prevention and Control of Infectious
legislation to cover the prevention and Diseases Act 1988, which has provision for
control of vector-borne diseases. These are: the closure of premises found harbouring
(a) Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects disease-bearing insects, is used to
Act 1975 (Act 154)(1); (b) Prevention and supplement the DDBIA.
Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act
342)(2); and (c) Local Government Act 1976 Achievement in law enforcement of
(Act 171)(3). The Destruction of Disease-
DDBIA for dengue control
Bearing Insects Act (DDBIA) 1975 was
enforced throughout the country with effect During the 5-year period from 1996 to
from 23 August 1982. The Destruction of 2000, an average of 4,316,113 premises
Disease-Bearing Insects (Amendment) Act were inspected annually for Aedes breeding,
2000 came into operation throughout the of which an average of 33,959 premises
country with effect from 1 January 2001. were found to be breeding Aedes (Table 1).
The Aedes Premise Index thus worked out to
about 0.78%.
Application
An average of 13,435 warning notices
The DDBIA is intended to provide for the
and 22,660 compounds were issued
destruction and control of disease-bearing
annually to the offenders who harboured
insects. It also empowers the relevant
Aedes larvae in their premises. Of those who
authority to conduct medical examination
refused to pay the compounds, an average
and treatment of persons suffering from
of 550 offenders were taken to court. For
insect-borne diseases. For the prevention
the same period, an average of 92 premises
and control of dengue, most of the
were closed or stop-work order issued to
provisions vested under the DDBIA 1975 are
them.
strictly enforced. Section 18(d) of the

∗ This paper was presented at the WHO Health Forum organized by the Ministry of the Environment, Singapore, October 2001
#
For correspondence: cyberseng@hotmail.com

Dengue Bulletin – Vol 25, 2001 109


Legislation for Dengue Control in Malaysia

Table 1. Enforcement of Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act, 1975


(Amended 2000) in Malaysia
No. of
No. of
No. of premises Aedes No. of No. of Law No. of
warning
Year premises found Premise compounds court Enforcement premises
notices
examined breeding Index (%) issued cases Index (%) closed
issued
Aedes
1996 4,397,754 41,612 0.9 17,972 18,408 517 88.7 0
1997 4,239,489 42,902 1.0 19,878 28,834 989 115.8 256
1998 5,071,478 36,203 0.7 11,233 30,696 298 116.6 115
1999 3,915,499 27,961 0.7 9,490 20,154 436 107.6 73
2000 3,956,344 21,117 0.5 8,601 15,209 506 115.1 16
2001
(Jan- 1,828,648 13,808 0.8 4,039 9,861 249 102.5 27
Jun)
Source: Vector-borne Disease Branch, Ministry of Health, Malaysia

Table 2 shows the achievement of law premises or stop-work orders were issued; 5
enforcement by states for the year 2000. A in Kedah, 9 in Selangor and 2 in Kelantan.
total of 3,956,344 premises were examined,
out of which 21,117 (0.53%) premises were
found to be positive for Aedes breeding. A Impact of legislation on dengue
total of 8,601 warning notices, 15,209 control
compounds, 506 court prosecutions and 16
stop-work or closure orders were issued. In In the enforcement of the Disease-Bearing
2000, court prosecutions were prominent in Insects Act 1975, the main focus is on
the urbanized states of Perak, Selangor, finding Aedes mosquito larvae in and around
Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and premises during routine Aedes survey. Once
Negeri Sembilan. The issuance of the larvae are confirmed to be disease-
compounds was more pronounced in the bearing insects, the owner/occupier is issued
states of Perak, Selangor and Johore where a warning notice or a compound is offered.
more than 2,000 compounds were issued The owner/occupier is expected to abide by
for each of the states. The issue of warning the instructions in the warning notice or
notices was more active in the states of settle the compound within the stipulated
Kedah, Selangor, Terengganu and Sarawak time, otherwise court prosecutions are
where more than 1,000 notices were issued proceeded. Therefore, legislation serves as a
for each state. A total of 16 closure of strong deterrent to mosquito breeding by
careless and indifferent householders. The

110 Dengue Bulletin – Vol 25, 2001


Legislation for Dengue Control in Malaysia

ultimate objective of imposing fines and Table 3 shows the relationship between
enforcing the law is to get public support in the number of dengue cases reported, the
dengue control activities and their number of compounds issued, and the fines
participation in source-reduction measures. collected during 1999 and 2000.

Table 2. Enforcement of Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act, 1975


(amended 2000) by states in Malaysia during 2000

No. of
No. of No. of No. of No. of No of
warning
State premises premises found compounds court premises
notices
examined breeding Aedes issued cases closed
issued

Perlis 23 173 179 19 160 0 0

Kedah 336 050 991 1393 819 1 5

P.Pinang 324 927 730 11 643 0 0

Perak 715 302 3745 799 2624 207 0

Selangor 517 010 5700 1271 4041 168 9

Wpkl 51 913 1490 616 510 96 0

N.Sembilan 151 337 512 20 459 20 0

Melaka 189 788 610 340 254 8 0

Kjohor 454 418 2637 286 2350 0 0

Pahang 208 559 881 77 779 3 0

Terengganu 202 699 513 1780 505 3 0

Kelantan 281 578 719 274 345 0 2

Sabah 257 172 915 687 696 0 0

Sarawak 242 412 1495 1028 1024 0 0

Total 3 956 21 117 8 601 15 209 506 16


338

Source: Vector-borne Disease Branch, Ministry of Health, Malaysia

Dengue Bulletin – Vol 25, 2001 111


Legislation for Dengue Control in Malaysia

Table 3. Number of dengue cases, compounds, collection in fines


under the DDBIA 1975 (amended 2000) for 1999 and 2000.
1999 2000

State No. of
No. of No. of No. of
Fines (RM) dengue Fines (RM)
dengue cases compounds compounds
cases
Perlis 46 33 1 410 29 160 4 860
Kedah 892 888 38 349 484 819 79 720
Penang 585 1 484 1 66 450 160 643 59 002
Perak 1 047 4 484 4 20 521 387 2 624 1 96 265
Selangor 1 956 3 598 3 37 990 1 439 4 041 3 94 175
Fed. Terr. K. 1 329 1 298 76 120 494 510 44 035
Lumpur
N. Sembilan 427 959 1 05 520 7 65 459 41 500
Malacca 229 336 21 020 104 254 11 220
Johor 957 1550 1 42 000 1 434 2 350 2 13 200
Pahang 782 1156 1 09 410 383 779 64 317
Terengganu 433 687 66 630 125 505 50 500
Kelantan 444 243 24 279 377 345 31 550
Sabah 344 1205 65 090 153 696 71 555
Sarawak 675 2233 59 890 784 1 024 42 326
Total 10146 20154 1634679 7 118 15 209 1 30 4225
Source: Vector-borne Disease Branch, Ministry of Health, Malaysia

It is very difficult to draw a good References


conclusion from the figures but judging from 1. Laws of Malaysia (1975). Destruction of Disease-
the reduction in dengue cases in 2000 Bearing Insects Act 1975 (Act 154). Government
(7,118 cases) as compared to 1999 (10,146 Printers, Kuala Lumpur.
cases), enforcement via compounding does 2. Laws of Malaysia (1988). Prevention and Control
play a role. Although the number of of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).
Government Printers, Kuala Lumpur.
compounds issued in 2000 (15,209) was less
than that in 1999 (20,154), it shows that 3. Laws of Malaysia (1976). Local Government Act
1976 (Act 171). Government Printers, Kuala
there were less breeding places detected
Lumpur.
(21,117) in 2000 as compared to 27,961 in
1999. The issuing of compounds has made a
positive impact on the reduction of Aedes
breeding premises.

112 Dengue Bulletin – Vol 25, 2001

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