Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Distribution of Mosquito Repellent by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Ms Hany Soh: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether the Ministry will consider island-wide distribution of mosquito repellent so as to increase awareness and encourage more frequent use of such repellents as protection against mosquito bites.
1 The National Environment Agency (NEA) focuses the distribution of mosquito repellent to residents staying in dengue cluster areas. This serves to encourage residents to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites by adopting the 'Spray, Apply, Wear' ('S-A-W') protective steps – spray insecticide in dark corners around the house; apply mosquito repellent regularly; and wear long-sleeve tops and long pants. These measures are important to break the cycle of dengue transmission, by preventing the Aedes aegypti mosquito from biting human hosts and spreading the dengue virus to others in the vicinity.
2 NEA can support community leaders and grassroots volunteers who wish to distribute mosquito repellents to their residents, by providing educational pamphlets on the 'S-A-W' protective measures. Residents are also encouraged to purchase their own mosquito repellents, which are widely available in the market.
3 As part of our efforts to promote partnership with private sector, the community and the government to fight dengue, NEA and Temasek Foundation, with the support of the Ministry of Education and the Early Childhood Development Agency, have started the progressive distribution of 800,000 bottles of mosquito repellents to all students in preschools, primary schools and secondary schools from 28 July. Each student will be provided with a 30ml bottle of DEET-based mosquito repellent and an educational pamphlet. From 10 August onwards, repellents will also be available for collection by clients of the Social Service Offices.