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Malaysia to Beef in Medical Care to Fight against HFMD

In Kuala Lumpur there is an outbreak of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Eight children have already lost their lives in Sarawak state//. Hence to calm down the situation the state government has worked out a series of preventive measures. It was said that about 187 new cases were reported in five areas of the state, bringing the total number to 5,181.

There is an indication that HFMD is beginning to spread to the interior rural areas. Cases are seen at Mukah in central Sarawak and Kapit along the western coast.

Hence after this the Malaysian Health Ministry ordered an immediate closure of all 488 kindergartens and 534 pre-schools in the state for two weeks to stem the spread of the disease and facilitate clean-up work at the premises. The schools were again closed for an indefinite period of time as the situation had become worse. The State Deputy Chief Minister George Chan asked the flying doctors to go to remote areas and look for suspect HFMD cases in villages.

The flying doctors service brings medical treatment through helicopter to people scattered in interior regions. Each team of flying doctor service comprises a doctor, a medical assistant and two nurses who visit between three and five settlements a day. Chan, who is also Chairman of the State Disaster and Aid Management Committee, said that the government also proposes to launch extensive information campaigns in interior areas to enhance the public awareness of the HFMD.

Through the mass media such as radio and newspapers it plans to spread the message across to the public. The state health department has decided to deploy more medical staffs. They also plan to establish 12 more health teams and invite six more doctors and three more child specialists from Peninsular Malaysia.

Health Minister Chua Soi Lek discouraged children in Sarawak under the age of 10 from participating in school holiday activities at western Malaysia. He said this as a
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