KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Health (KKM) will add nine more new localities for the Aedes Wolbachia mosquito release project involving several states in the Peninsula including the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur this year.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the initiative was a follow-up to the success and effectiveness of the project in fighting dengue cases in the country since it was implemented in 2019.

“We will increase (locality of Wolbachia mosquito release), our focus is in Kelantan, Pahang, Penang, Melaka, Johor including the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur... I will ensure that construction sites will also be among the focus hotspots.

“Until now, 35 release localities have been implemented across the country and after four years of implementation, the number of dengue cases has decreased between 45 to 100 per cent in the 19 release localities that have qualified to be evaluated,“ he said.

He said this in a press conference after opening the Gotong Royong Mega Fight Aedes 1.0 National Level programme in conjunction with the celebration of Asean Dengue Day 2024 at the Desa Setia Wira Malaysian Armed Forces Family Housing (RKAT) today.

Dr Dzulkefly said the Aedes Wolbachia mosquito release project at the Setia Wira Village camp here also showed an 87.2 per cent reduction in dengue cases since it started in 2020.

Besides, he said the Ministry of Health has also placed an application for allocation in the 2025 Budget for the implementation of the Aedes Wolbachia mosquito release project.

In another development, Dr Dzulkefly said that for the period from January to June 1, 2024, a total of 64,629 dengue cases were reported compared to 48,723 cases for the same period last year with an increase of 15,906 cases or 32.6 per cent.

He said, during that period also as many as 48 deaths involving dengue cases have been reported compared to 34 deaths in 2023.

Regarding today’s programme, he called on all parties to jointly carry out the ‘Seek and Destroy’ activity of breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes in their respective premises for 10 minutes every week and make the ‘One Hour Malaysia Clean Up’ mutual aid activity a monthly activity.

Also present was the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) Health Service director-general Lieutenant General Datuk Dr Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh.