CAP: Improve our Public Health System

The Consumers Association of Penang calls upon the Ministry of Health to improve our public health system in view of the threats from five communicable diseases (Covid- 19, Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), Monkey Pox, Influenza and Marburg)which are presently affecting a large section of the global population. Malaysia has also not been spared as some of these communicable diseases are also present here.

Communicable diseases have been with us for many years. We have recognized smallpox for at least 150 years and the morbidity and mobility that ensue from this scourge have been catastrophic. Public health measures like adequate sanitation as well as vaccination have virtually wiped out this highly contagious disease.

While communicable diseases such as Covid-19 will be with us for a long time, at the end of the day the point is not to alarm the public but to inform them to be vigilant and take the necessary steps to protect them from the disease.

In the case of monkey pox, even though there have not been any reported cases in the country we should not be complacent as there is an important lesson that we can learn from the global community.

In the case of the five communicable diseases that are posing a threat to the country, the authorities need to take measures to contain the disease. This can be done by providing access to public health sanitary measures.

The advances in public health are not only to focus on disease outbreak but to contain the disease within the parameters. This can be done by isolating those affected by the disease for a certain period and to ensure that the disease is not transmitted by close contact.

In view of the present situation, CAP calls upon the Ministry of Health to:

  • Maintain public toilets so that the transmission of water borne diseases is contained.
  • Ensure that there are adequate water facilities in public areas for consumers to wash their hands frequently.
  • Provide an adequate disposal system in public places for the disposal of contaminated items such as masks, gloves and tissue papers.
  • Create awareness on climate change which is here to stay
  • Organise campaigns to create awareness to practice proper hygiene in the communities
  • Ensure tracing of the disease and provide facilities for isolation of affected cases.


Mohideen Abdul Kader
Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)

Letter to the Editor, 5 August 2022

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