Monday, July 7, 2014

Local Authorities hired unqualified Pest Control Operators?

Local Authorities hired unqualified Pest Control Operators?

Below is what President of Federation of South East Asian Fumigators (FOSEAF) opinion on the raised of the dengue epidemic in our country. Among reason given by Mr Ang is the using of unqualified pest control operator by our local authorities.

The science of fumigation is simple but untrained people might not know where and when they should perform the fumigation or fogging. And this is what worries the Federation of South East Asian Fumigators (Foseaf) President Ang Tan Loong in the face of the current worrying dengue outbreak.

“If the chemicals are not administered properly, there is a risk that the mosquitoes will become immune to the effects of fogging,” he told the New Sunday Times.

Ang said local authorities are known to hire unlicensed sub-contractors to carry out fogging. “These unqualified workers do not know the right dosage for the chemical solution or how to handle the equipment. Some would even dilute the solution and weaken the efficacy of the chemical.

“These contractors are also not audited so any indiscretions often go unchecked,” he said. Ang, who has been in the pest control business for 25 years, reveals that in 2009 up to 80 per cent of fumigators hired by the local authorities were not licensed.

He said back in 2009 when he was the president of the Pest Control Association Malaysia (PCAM) he was asked by the Selangor state government to present a proposal to 12 local councils on dealing with illegal fogging which was detrimental to the fight against dengue.

“Despite revealing to the authorities the high number of unlicensed fumigators that were being engaged, my proposal never materialised and that’s when I foresaw that dengue would become an epidemic.” 

Ang said the best solution was for the authorities to provide the right dosage of chemicals, instead of letting the contractors decide how much to use. However, he also pointed out that fogging was just a “quick fix” as it would only kill adult mosquitoes, adding that this was a reactive step instead of a proactive one.

“It is almost impossible to identify where a victim was bitten especially in urban areas where a lot of people are always on the move.

“Usually when a person contracts dengue, the local authorities would commonly conduct fogging at the area where the victim resides which is an ineffective measure.” 

He said a more effective method is ‘source reduction’ using larvicide, an insecticide which is available at local health offices.

“The public’s response has been lukewarm as they are not bothered to travel just to get the larvicide. It would be better for the authorities to distribute it to the people as part of an awareness campaign so they know the importance of de stroying the breeding grounds of mosquitoes.”

“The authorities should engage professional pest management companies as the severity of the dengue epidemic here is worse than those in third world countries,” he added. He said one of the reasons for the spike in dengue cases was global warming.

“Due to climate change, many predators which feed on mosquitoes such as frogs and lizards are dying. Using these predators is called biological control against the infestation of mosquitoes.

“The erratic weather also causes the mosquitoes to attack at any time of the day instead of only during dusk and dawn”. source from New Straits Times

Local Authorities did hire qualified Pest Control Operators

If we look at the current procedure of appointing pest control operator for fogging job, local council are choosing all qualified pest control operators.

Local council also distribute abate to the people each time they exercise inspection from house to house. This is a common practice at Kuala Lumpur area and also in Selangor.

As for the dosage using for fogging operation, indeed it is monitored closely by local authorities and they are the one who decide what dosage to apply anda what chemical to use for each fogging operation.

May be the main reason of dengue epidemic now is not due to unqualified pest control operators hired by local council. But it is more to the lack of cooperation among our communities to remove the source of aedes breeding site.
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