28 July 2022


NEA And Temasek Foundation Provide Mosquito Repellents to 800,000 Students Amid The Current Dengue Peak Season And High Number of Weekly Dengue Cases


1. The National Environment Agency (NEA) and Temasek Foundation are providing mosquito repellents to all students in preschools, primary, and secondary schools in Singapore starting today. This mosquito repellent distribution complements NEA’s ongoing efforts to protect the community from getting infected with dengue. Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and the Environment, kicked-off the distribution at Pei Tong Primary School this morning where he handed out mosquito repellents to students and urged students, parents, and caregivers to take urgent collective action in the fight against dengue.

2. Given the surge in dengue cases and high mosquito population, there is a need to deny more hosts for the day-biting Aedes mosquitoes to transmit the dengue virus. A 30ml bottle of DEET-based mosquito repellent and an accompanying educational pamphlet will be made available in August to students in preschools (under the Ministry of Education (MOE) and those managed by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)), government-funded Early Intervention centres, primary and secondary schools, as well as students enrolled in programmes of equivalent levels in other educational institutions [1] which have opted to receive the repellents. ComCare beneficiaries can collect the mosquito repellents from their nearest Social Service Office as well.

NEA’s enhanced outreach to schools, students, and parents

3. Singapore is currently facing a serious dengue situation. With the high weekly number of dengue cases, and more than 400,000 households located in clusters islandwide, the risk of transmission remains high. As Singapore is still in the midst of the traditional dengue season, urgent collective community efforts are critical to bring down the case numbers further.

4. Ms Woon Saet Nyoon, Head, Community Networks & Partnerships, Temasek Foundation said, “Mosquitoes do not discriminate. With dengue infections on the rise, we cannot remain complacent. Let’s break this cycle of transmission and stop dengue together to protect ourselves and loved ones. We can stay prepared by encouraging each other to take conscious measures like applying mosquito repellent when we are outdoors and ensuring that our homes do not provide breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquito.”

5. As with past years, NEA has also been working closely with MOE and ECDA to ensure that vector control measures are in place at all schools and preschools, and that potential mosquito breeding habitats are detected early and removed. Schools have taught their students how to prevent mosquito breeding, and schools continue to reiterate three key protective actions against dengue – ‘Spray, Apply, Wear’ or ‘SAW’ in short [2] – to parents through the school’s network. For schools located in dengue cluster areas, parents are strongly advised to ensure that their children have applied mosquito repellent before they leave for school. For more information on the use of repellent, please visit go.gov.sg/repellent .

Stepped-up vector control and community outreach efforts

6. There were 1,062 dengue cases reported in the week ending on 23 July 2022. In total, close to 22,000 cases have been reported this year to date, exceeding the total 5,258 cases reported in 2021. The risk of transmission remains high as there are still close to 300 dengue clusters across the island. The weekly number of cases is still very high, and we are in the early months of the traditional peak dengue season in Singapore. In June 2022, the Aedes aegypti mosquito population remained high and was about 2 per cent higher than in the same period last year (June 2021).

7. Since the start of this year, NEA has been working closely with partner agencies and grassroots organisations (GROs) in the areas of vector control, stakeholder engagement, and community mobilisation. Earlier this month, some 5,000 volunteers from People’s Association (PA) GROs and PA Community Emergency and Response Team joined NEA’s SG Clean Ambassadors in conducting house visits in dengue cluster areas, to share information and tips with residents on how to prevent mosquito breeding and protect themselves and their loved ones against dengue.

8. It is critical that all residents and stakeholders take immediate action to suppress the Aedes mosquito population and break disease transmission, by regularly practising the following Mozzie Wipeout ‘ B-L-O-C-K’ steps:

  • B reak up hardened soil
  • L ift and empty flowerpot plates
  • O verturn pails and wipe their rims
  • C hange water in vases
  • K eep roof gutters clear and place BTI insecticide inside

9. Those staying in dengue cluster areas should take additional steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Preventing bites from an infected mosquito will mean fewer infected people subsequently, which in turn reduces the pool of virus for mosquitoes to transmit amongst the community. The protective steps are ‘Spray, Apply, Wear’:

  • S pray insecticide in dark corners around the house
  • A pply insect repellent regularly
  • W ear long-sleeve tops and long pants

10. Members of the public are also strongly encouraged to download the myENV app, and set the app to alert them when there is a dengue cluster or high mosquito population near their homes. Every individual’s action matter, and together, we can fight dengue and protect ourselves and our loved ones.

[1] These educational institutions include Private Education Institutions, Special Education schools and Madrasahs.

[2] (i) Spray insecticide in dark corners around the house (ii) Apply insect repellent regularly (iii) Wear long sleeves and long pants

Annex