Public Engagement Activity

Public Engagement Activity
25 Mar 2017

WOLBACHIA COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

INTRODUCTION

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.

OBJECTIVE

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 .

LOCATIONS

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.

AU2 KERAMAT

EXCLUSION CRITERIA

The exclusion criteria are as follows:

  1. Empty house
  2. House Rental by foreigner

iii. Kindergarten

  1. Shoplots
  2. Homestay
  3. Rest house

  1. Total number of houses involved = 1062 (AU2A / 2B / 2C)
  2. Types of Houses: Single and double storey Terrace House.
  3. Ethnic group: Malay (100%)
  4. 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.

 

Figure 1: Showing AU2 Taman Keramat, Kuala Lumpur shaded pink (GPS: 3.168019, 101.738180)

 

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.

Figure 2: Showing the boundary of the trial site in Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor (GPS coordinates3.066853, 101.483898)

 

EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS

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

The digitalised mapping location of the houses consented to 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.

CONCLUSION

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.

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