There Must Be A Better Way To Combat Dengue Than Playing God



By: B Goode

The NEA recently announced that they were going to use bacteria in their fight against the dengue-causing Aedes mosquitoes.

They have certainly brought outsourcing to a totally new level. What’s next? Using smoke-detecting drones to catch smokers?

If anything, this idea is lazy and potentially dangerous.

The plan is to infect the male Aedes mosquitoes with a type of bacteria that when transmitted to the female mosquitoes via sex, would render the female mosquitoes infertile. I just hope that they successfully infect the normal male aedes mosquitoes, if you know what I mean.

I am not a bacteriologist but one thing I’ve learnt from watching the movie `The Blob’ is that these bloody bacteria are able to mutate very quickly especially inside a fast living animal such as the mosquito. What would happen if the bacteria mutated and instead of making female mosquitoes infertile, it made their female human victims infertile instead?

Maybe I am over-reacting but you guys should really watch `The Blob’.

There is actually already something in place to combat the dengue menace. It only requires the NEA officers to work more diligently and honestly. It is called `house-to-house’ visits.

What I am about to say next may cause someone in the NEA to be in trouble. So his identity will remain a secret.

Let’s just call him Mr Sneech.

Mr. Sneech told me that the job of NEA anti-dengue task force was pretty easy. They only had to make house-to-house visits, do some checks and if any mosquito breeding was found, issue summonses. Before then, they’d be given an area to visit.

If you asked me, that would be a tough job to do. So I told Mr. Sneech that, and he said:

“No la. Very easy one”.

Apparently, depending on their mood, they didn’t necessarily do all the checks. Sometimes, they’d just note down that certain residences had been checked when in actual fact, they were drinking coffee at the coffee-shop or enjoying the air-con in the condo’s gym. Or they’d just note that no one was home.

Meanwhile, a swarm of mosquitoes were having an orgy under the kitchen sinks of the houses they were supposed to visit but didn’t.

I don’t know whether Mr Sneech was telling me the truth but at least he has inadvertently exposed a procedural loop-hole. It would have been easy for NEA officers to `eat snake’ because there was no way for anyone to confirm the veracity of their reports. It would all have to depend on the NEA officers’ own honesty.

But as I have said before, if everyone could be trusted, there was no need for heaven and hell.

Maybe it would be good for the NEA officers to be asked by their supervisors to produce proofs of checks. Photos of the places that they have checked perhaps. Or the signatures of the residents.

And to the NEA officers. If you are guilty of this bad habit, please stop and be diligent at your work because the next dengue fatality could well be one of your loved ones.

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