Masing calls for US experts to study melioidosis and leptospirosis in Kapit


CONCERNED: Masing (left) visiting Andress. Also seen from right are Kapit Hospital director Dr Ngian Hie Ung and Kapit Resident Dahim Nadot.

KAPIT: Minister of Land Development Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has called for foreign medical experts to study the problem of melioidosis and leptospirosis here.

He said the state Health Department should notify the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States and request disease experts to visit Kapit.

“We are concerned about this disease as it has caused a lot of fear among the people not only here but from outside as well. We should inform the CDC and invite the experts to come over to investigate,” said Masing.

The Belaga assemblyman pointed out that even senior personnel avoided visiting the division for fear of contracting the disease.

“This is proof of the feeling of panic among the people, not only the locals but also from outside as well and that is why we need to get the experts from outside to assist us. We must be transparent with this,” he stressed during a recent visit to Kapit Hospital to see a patient suffering from melioidosis and another suspected to have contracted leptospirosis.

Andress Bawing, 49, who works for the Waterworks Section of the Kapit Public Works Department has been hospitalised for over three months for melioidosis.

Meanwhile, Belaja Embam, 49, from Nanga Antawau, Baleh, has been in the hospital for a week for suspected leptospirosis.

Masing said melioidosis has long existed but the diagnosis was not available in the past.

“It first happened in Belaga and then now it happened at my area in Baleh. The diseases have become quite serious, we’re concerned when it affects people’s health.”

He was happy to note that both patients were responding well to treatment.

Kapit has the most number of melioidosis cases in the state followed by Belaga.

Melioidosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei, which can be found in contaminated or polluted soil and water.

The disease infects humans or animals through contact with the contaminated source, drinking contaminated water or through open wounds.

From Jan 1 to Aug 3, a total of 35 cases were reported in Sarawak with five deaths.

Last year there were 343 cases involving 17 deaths.

Every year, the disease claims thousands of lives in Thailand.

Meanwhile, leptospirosis cases are sporadic and not clusters or outbreaks.

From Jan 1 to Aug 3, a total of 56 cases were reported with five deaths while last year there were 49 cases.

The disease is caused by the presence of rats, especially at warehouses and unsafe sources of drinking water.

by James Ling, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on August 10, 2011, Wednesday

7 Responses to “Masing calls for US experts to study melioidosis and leptospirosis in Kapit”

  1. Perihatin: Kulleh Ubong Do' Says:

    Salam sejethera suadara budiman yang dikasihi dikawasan terdedah oleh penyakit yang melanda dikawasan Bakun Dam di Baluy.

    Terima kasih kepada pegawai perubatan Jabatan kesihatan peringkat negeri di Sarawak, baru ini sudah mengambil perhatian.

    Dalam mengatas perkara seperti ini, membabitkan ruang lingkup kepakaran perubatan bertauliah, semua pihak termasuk Kerajaan sarawak perlu memberi kerjasama kepada pihak yang berkuasa dan mempunyai bidang kuasa untuk meluluskan iaitu pihak Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia dalam mengatasi permasalahan tersebut, jika hendak mengadakan Uji kaji kesan kesan penyakit yang sedang merebak sebelum kawasan Bakun Dam sebelum ini.

    Amat perlulah mengadakan satu badan khas pasukan pakar-pakar tempatan bertauliah mengetuai pasukan tersebut terlebih dahulu diberi ketutamaan untuk dilantik oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia., kerana perkara pokok yang masyarakat di seluruh rakyat malaysia perlu tahu the end result uji kaji itu dan solutionnya?

    Eloklah juga, cadangan Bagi pakar-pakar luar negara yang dicadang untuk dibawa masuk membantu pakar tempatan, samada dari China, jepun, Amerika mahupun dari Europa, mereka perlu berdaftar mendapat kelulusan melalui badan khas pasukan bertauliah dibawah Kementerian kesihatan malaysia dan amat perlu dipantau rapi oleh pihak Menteri, Kementerian kesihatan Malaysia, supaya hasil R&D penyakit yang merebak mendapat penghasilan yang berkesan, penyelesaian dan laporan amat perlu dibentang kepada Kerajaan untuk tindakan susulan selanjutnya supaya semua rakyat negara ini juga berhak tahu penghasilannya.

    “Ialah malang tak berbau, penyakit seperti ini tidak mengenal sesiapa dan tidak kenal pangkat atau darjat manusia itu, seperti perpatah Melayu -“malang tak berbau” dan lebih eloklah bertindak cepat dan pantas sebelum terlambat. -“prevention is better then cure”.

    Terima kasih.

    Perihatin: Kulleh Ubing Do’.

  2. Bloody Hell Taib Mahmud Says:

    Bukan di Kapit le. tapi di Belaga. Bagus lagi di Bintulu. Mana ada org pergi Belaga melalui Kapit sekarang. Zaman itu telah berakhir. Jangan mimpi lagi Jemut Masing. Lambat-laun Belaga akan dipindahkan ke bawah pentadbiran Bahagian Bintulu.

  3. Bloody Hell Taib Mahmud Says:

    Kenapa BN masdih juga perlu pakar US. Bukan kah BN itu sangat pandai dan tahu segala-galanya.

  4. tuyang Says:

    ha…ha..betul-betul bhtm. B-end kan tahu smuanya… baru kita dengar JM bsuara. Baguslah itu yg kami rkyat mahukan, bukan mahu…’tapuk’ ssuatu kes… Kalau itu bagus utk kslmatan pduduk, hantarlah sgera 1 psukan khas utk menangani kes itu dgn cepat bukan saja di kapit tetapi lbh2 di belaga/bakun. Apa kbr asapkoyan2u skrg?? Dia kan suka mmuji… dan suka m’upload gmbr2 bdo dulu tu…. msh ligat lagi ke… atau sdg mengintai berita tbaru bila PRU 13 akan diadakan??? Baru dia nak bgerak cergas lagi, bkempen…. Dgr2 dah dekat….

  5. belagakini Says:

    Dispelling a mystery disease
    By RINTOS MAIL
    rintos@thestar.com.my

    KUCHING: Sarawak will request the Health Ministry to carry out scientific research at areas in Bakun affected by melioidosis.

    Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said the state was aware of public concerns over the disease and was trying to do whatever it could to mitigate it.

    “I will request the Health Ministry to look into the issue very closely and take necessary studies and measures to mitigate the disease in the area,” he told reporters after the State Cabinet meeting at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.
    Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh: If possible, try not to come into contact with soil which could contain the bacteria, particularly if you have cuts or wounds or skin abrasions.

    Wong reiterated that melioidosis was not a mysterious disease as claimed by some quarters.

    He said the disease was en- demic and there were five deaths reported in the state so far this year.

    However, he said people must be careful when working in muddy conditions or stagnant water.

    “If possible, try not to come into contact with soil which could contain the bacteria, particularly if you have cuts or wounds or skin abrasions.”

    He also advised anyone who had direct contact with soil in the area and have symptoms such as fever or aches to immediately seek medical treatment.

    “Don’t think that it is an ordinary flu or something you can take for granted, seek early medical treatment.”

    Melioidosis cases in Bakun were first revealed by the Bakun Community Safety Committee (BCSC).

    Upon confirmation, BCSC had called on the authorities to carry out scientific research in the area to see whether the bacteria was still present in the water and how to mitigate it.

    Melioidosis is caused by a bacterium (Burkholderia pseudomailei) found in soil, rice fields and stagnant water.

    Victims acquire the disease when the contaminated soil comes in contact with a damaged area of the skin.

  6. Padan Ulae Says:

    ‘NASI SUDAH MENJADI BUBUR’ that is always the attitude of our political leaders…why have to get US experts. Where are our own experts? Are they scared of Bakun too so let the outsiders to come and do the dangerous job. So if they are affected then not our business to isnt it something like that. Those of you guys who live ‘comfortably in the towns or cities’ can simply say about the virus but what about those who live with the virus within the Bakun area.

    We had talked so much about the disease few years back but many people especially BN leaders or supporters always think that it is mere ‘propaganda’ of the opposition or NGOs. Now it is their turn to say about the disease…let them try their luck for the good of the Belaga people.

    When we Belaga people speak about our rights, be you a BN supporter or a PR supporter….those who will die or suffer will be our own people..the ones who carry their coffins will be you and me and not other people. In this sense it is for us to speak the truth against what can bring disaster to our own people’s lives. It is our rights and freedom to speak to the government and demand them to act speedily and wisely. On the other hands it is their obligation to see into our problem. A democratic government doesn’t speak about their rights but about their responsibility towards the rakyat. So BN parties and supporters since you are the government of the day then better do your work professionally before Belaga people keep on cursing you and your generations to come.

  7. Lasa Tidom Says:

    Pada hemat saya, Kerajaan tidak akan mendedahkan punca penyakit ini kerana punca penyakit ini adalah kerana akibat kerosakkan alam sekitar akibat projek empangan dan pembalakan yg sangat berleluasa. Saudara masih ingat kes ikan banyak mati di sungai Balui dan di sg. Baleh? Ekosistem sudah musnah dan kacau bilau. ketidakseimbangan ekosistem mengwujudkan mikroorganisma yang baru dan berbahaya.

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