Public Engagement Activity
25 Mar 2017
WOLBACHIA COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Wolbachia strategy aims to naturally manipulate mosquito populations to make mosquitoes unable to transmit dengue virus to humans. To evaluate its effectiveness, this strategy will require field testing and public participation to ensure the success of this programme. Public engagement is a pre-requisite to ensure successful implementation of this project. Public engagement is to educate and to inform residence of this new approach to control dengue, Zika and chikungunya and to obtain their consensus so that they can give cooperation to ensure successful outcomes.
To obtain support, consensus and consent of communities in the selected trial sites to release Aedes mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia for the control of dengue .
Two trial sites have been selected , namely Section 7, Shah Alam and AU2, Taman Keramat. Both are urban residential areas situated in the Selangor State. The target group is head of the household in these sites.
The exclusion criteria are as follows:
- Empty house
- House Rental by foreigner
- Rest house
- Total number of houses involved = 1062 (AU2A / 2B / 2C)
- Types of Houses: Single and double storey Terrace House.
- Ethnic group: Malay (100%)
- Facilities and Infrastructures: The facilities and infrastructure consists , secondary school, National School, health clinic, public hall, community hall, public square, Muslim prayer facility ( Surau, 3), rows of shops and food stalls, petrol station, and syariah court.
SECTION 7, SHAH ALAM
In Section 7, Shah Alam, the trial site is Jalan Plumbum 101 and Jalan Plumbum 103 as well as 51 PKNS apartment blocks nearby.
Educational materials such as posters, banners, buntings, brochures have been printed and distributed to the residents in both the trial localities.
ACTIVITIES OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
AU2 TAMAN KERAMAT
A total of 18 activities, which included meeting, briefing, dialogue, carnival and home visit were held in AU2 Keramat. All activities involved local political leader, community leaders and communities (residents and family members). Some activities were held in surau (small mosques) and community hall since the majority of the population were Muslims. Generally, 100% community engagement has been covered. Until 10th March 2017, 98.5% (451 households) agreed to involve in Wolbachia mosquito release project. Only 7 households refused to give approval .The location of the houses consented to the release has been mapped out and digitalised using Geographical Information System (GIS) to ensure the smooth conduct of the release
SEKSYEN 7, SHAH ALAM, SELANGOR
Ten activities including meeting, briefing, dialogue, carnival and home visit were held in Section 7, Shah Alam. As in AU2, all such activities involved local political leaders, community leaders and communities (residents and family members). In every community engagement activity, approximately more than 95% of attendance agreed to involve in Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes release within the vicinity of their houses. Until 10th March 2017, 97.5% (738 households) had given approval for the release and only 19 households refused.
Meanwhile, a total of 500 leaflets with attachments of questionnaires were also distributed via the post box in houses in the whole Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor. However the feedback mostly came from residents in Section 7, Jalan Plumbum 101 and 103, i.e. terrace houses . The responses were from 22 people through the URL, 58 through WhatsApp and 4 via SMS.
To date, a total of 15 stakeholders meetings and 12 sessions of public engagement have been conducted in both trial sites. In general, to date more than 97% of the community members surveyed in the two localities agreed to participate in releasing the Aedes mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia. We also obtained very good support and cooperation from the community leaders in the two sites. However, more efforts are still needed to increase the coverage of household. In addition, we also provide Wolbachia website, blog and hotline for public to get further information regarding this program. Community engagement activities are still ongoing, especially in the areas that have yet to be covered. All forms of information on the Wolbachia from basic to applied regarding the program should be continued and extended to communities from time to time. Involvement and support from the local communities, the Ministry of Health and other agencies is crucial to ensure a successful outcome.