Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Beware the medicine that could turn out to be poison

The Star

Beware the medicine that could turn out to be poison
The Star Malaysia
29 October 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: Members of the public have been warned against buying three unregistered traditional medicine and a slimming product after these were found to contain scheduled poisons.
The three traditional medicine were “Majun Dua Istimewa”, “Makjun Taufiq Dua Istimewa” and “Madu Adunan Herba” while the slimming product is “Figure-Up”.
The Health Ministry’s Pharmaceutical services senior director Datuk Eisah Abdul Rahman said tests carried out found that the products contained dexamethasone, which could cause liver and kidney problems if consumed without medical advice.
“A patient died due to kidney complications after consuming ‘ MajunDuaIstimewa’ fortwomonths, purportedly as pain relief,” she said in a statement here yesterday.
Other symptoms include obesity, “Cushing’s Syndrome” – which also causesweightgain, allergies, increase in cholesterol levels, headaches, stomachulcers, osteoporosis, breathing difficulties and disruption in blood flow.
Eisah said dexamethasone, which is controlled under the Sale of Drugs Act, is a potent anti-inflammatory drug often used to treat allergies and must only be consumed with a doctor’s prescription.
The named traditional medicines, she added, were still being sold despite raids carried out by the ministry’s enforcement division.
“A total of 401 bottles of ‘ Majun Dua Istimewa’ worth RM146,779 and 96 bottles of ‘ Makjun Taufiq Dua Istimewa’ worth RM32,593 have been seized since June,” she said.
Meanwhile, she said “Figure-Up” contains sibutramine, which is used to reduce weight, especially in obese patients.
It has been banned in Malaysia since June 23 due to the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and stroke.
Those found guilty of contravening the regulations can be fined up to RM25,000 or jailed up to three years or both. — Bernama

Saturday, October 26, 2013

MMA disappointed with lack of priority to health care in Budget 2014


PETALING JAYA (Oct 25, 2013): Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Datuk Dr NSK Tharmaseelan has voiced disappointment with the lack of focus to health care in the Budget 2014.
When contacted, he said Malaysia is far from the 10% average allocation percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the ASEAN countries.
Last year, Tharmaseelan said, health care was only allocated 2.2% of the GDP.
"We expected double of that, if the government wanted to make meaningful changes in the health industry," he lamented.
He also said the additional 50 1Malaysia clinics should be built in rural areas.
"People in the rural areas have to travel more than 100km to get medical assistance," he said.
Also, "there is no point in placing these clinics in the urban areas with only nurses manning the clinics," he added.
Tharmaseelan also questioned why the government is only budgeting for one additional hospital next year when the country is producing 5,000 doctors a year.
"There will be a lack of hospitals for doctors to practise. It is an embarrassment to be a country that has jobless doctors," he said.
On the other hand, Tharmaseelan commended the government for abolishing the sugar subsidy of 34 sen effective Oct 26.
"This is a good move as our country has one of the highest diabetic rate and statistics indicate that 2.6 million Malaysians under the age of 30 are
diabetic. Hopefully with the removal of sugar subsidy, we will see fewer diabetic patients," he said.
He also noted that the government's move to improve the quality of nursing care by appointing 6,800 more nurses will help reduce the number of jobless nurses, said to be 20,000 currently.
An allocation of RM150 million to appoint the nurses was announced in the National Budget 2014 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
Najib also announced an allocation of RM3.3 billion for the purchase of medicine and medical equipment to ensure patients receive appropriate treatment including expanding the cardiothoracic services in Hospital Ipoh, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan and Kuching.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Consistent campaigns on lupus required, says Fatimah

BorneoPost Online 

KUCHING: Consistent campaigns similar to cancer awareness are needed to raise public understanding on the nature of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) disease.
Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said greater awareness would result in a better support system to help patients cope with the lifelong disease.
“Not many people know about lupus. Taking an example related by a lupus patient, it is understood that even in terms of diagnosis, doctors took years and conducted so many tests before they found out that a patient had SLE,” she said when commenting on the need to provide a stronger support system for SLE patients in the state.
“Therefore, as how we create awareness on cancer, everybody must play their role to educate the public on this disease. We can’t leave it to one party.
“Medical profession, survivors, NGOs (non-governmental organisations) must create better awareness about the sickness to ensure a better success rate. From here comes the support system in terms of finance, counselling and others. It has to be done that way.”
Fatimah added that this year, the ministry was active in its campaign on breast and cervical cancer through subsidies for patients to undergo mammograms and Pap smears for early detection.
In a report on Monday, Malaysian SLE Association Kuching chapter president Ingrid Ning had stressed the need for a strong support system to help patients cope with the stress and treatment.
SLE is a long-term autoimmune disorder that may effect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs.
Contracting lupus will result in the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking healthy tissues, which could lead to chronic inflammation.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Health Minister calls for emphasis on wound care

New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR : Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam today called for greater emphasis on the knowledge, theory and training on wound care management to prevent or minimise complications caused by unwell treatment of wounds.

He said that with a high number of diabetic patients in Malaysia, caring for wounds had become more important, especially in preventing foot amputation due to diabetic complications.  
"Diabetes Mellitus in Malaysia has reached epic proportions, where 20 per cent of the population suffers from this debilitating disease. Studies show that 25 per cent of diabetics will suffer from diabetic foot complications. 
"Therefore, we will be faced with 1.4 million patients with wounds," he said in his speech opening the International Wound Conference 2013, here.
The text of his speech was read out by the Deputy Director-General of Health (Public Health) Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman.   
The two-day conference, themed 'Global Wound Care Made Local', is organised by the Malaysian Society of Wound Care Professionals (MSWCP). 
Subramaniam said the government had invested much money in the management of wounds, and added that a study done in seven state and specialist hospitals in 2007 showed that about RM1 million was spent on wound-related products each month.  
"This proves that a lot of money is invested in managing wounds and, therefore, it should be managed judiciously and in a multi-disciplinary and comprehensive manner," he said.  
MSWCP President Dr Harikrishna K.R. Nair said the conference was the first of its kind in the world and MSWCP was looking forward to Oct 18 to be observed as 'Wound Care Day'. 
He signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the World Union of Wound Healing Society (WUWCS) and the Asian Academy of Wound Technology (AAWT) to work on educational programmes in wound management for healthcare professionals in Malaysia.  
WUWCS was represented by its president-elect Prof Sadanori Akita while Prof Luc Teot represented the AAWT.  -- BERNAMA 

Health minister: 12pc deaths in government hospitals due to cancer

The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 16 — As much as 12 per cent of the deaths reported in government hospitals annually are due to cancer, which is also one of five leading causes of death in Malaysia.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said last year alone, the government spent RM100 million to buy drugs to treat cancer patients in government hospitals.
He said breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, nose cancer, lymphoma cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer continued to be a cause for concern among Malaysians.
Although the government spent millions of ringgit in providing facilities, including the best treatment centres to treat the disease, Dr Subramaniam stressed that public awareness was more important to detect and prevent the disease at an early stage.
“We have a service system and facilities in government and private hospitals. We hope Malaysians have a high awareness of the disease and go for screening to detect the disease at an early stage,” he said at a press conference here today.
He urged the public not to miss the opportunity to attend free screenings, campaigns and forums on cancer which would be conducted nationwide, in conjunction with the month of October being Cancer Awareness Month.
According to the ministry’s report, 40,000 new cancer cases are recorded every year.
The World Health Organisation reported that cancer caused the death of more than six million men and women in 2000. — Bernama

Six traditional products with high levels of heavy metal

The Star Online
PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has cautioned Malaysians against consuming several brands of traditional medicine from China and Hong Kong.

They include products manufactured by the Beijing Tong Ren Tang, under brand names Niu Huang Jie Du Pian and Jian Ti Wu Bu Ban, which reportedly contained high levels of arsenic and mercury respectively.

Two other products by the Chinese manufacturer are Niu Huang Chien Jin San and Siau Er Zhi Pau Wan, suspected to contain mercury sulphide.

Another two products - Bak Foong pills produced by the Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory and Hairegenerator by Hong Kong Hang Cheong Lung Pharmaceutical Limited - are said to contain high levels of plumbum and mercury respectively.

The Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau (NPCB) confirmed that these products were not registered with the Drug Control Authority (DCA). 

“We urge the public not to buy or use these products because their quality and safety cannot be guaranteed. 

"Those who are already taking these products are advised to stop consumption.

“Traditional products that are marketed in Malaysia must be registered with the bureau, which will examine the quality and safety of the products, while the DCA will monitor to ensure the quality of these registered products are maintained,” the statement said.

Arsenic, plumbum and mercury are heavy metals which could exist in the environment and produced through human activities, such as in the production of industrial waste and the use of pesticides.

The bureau said an over exposure to arsenic can cause cancer and effects of poisoning, while an excessive intake of plumbum may cause anemia and damage to the joints, brain and kidney.

Mercury poisoning has been reported to cause symptoms such as itchiness, skin colour change, swelling and nervous system damage.

Consumers are urged to check the registration status of pharmaceutical drugs at www.bpfk.gov.my or call 03-7883 5400 and lodge a report with the Health Ministry if any unregistered drugs are found to be sold in the market by writing to pharmacy1@moh.gov.my or call 03-7841 3200/ 3396.   

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More mentally ill Malaysians in 2020

Free Malaysia Today
KOTA BARU: About 10% of Malaysia’s population is projected to experience mental illness by 2020.
Deputy director-general of Health (Public Health) Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said the increase in the number of people aged 50 years and above had implications on the healthcare system with regard to mental and physical health.
“This group will face declining health due to chronic diseases, loneliness due to isolation from family and society, lack of interest due to job loss, and financial problems due to the high cost of living.”
He said this to reporters after opening the Public Service Psychology Seminar held in conjunction with the National-Level World Mental Health Day commemoration at the Kelantan National Culture and Arts Department complex, here, yesterday.
Dr Lokman Hakim said the World Health Organisation predicted that depression, a mental illness, would take second spot affecting this group (aged 50 and above) after ischemic heart disease.
He said the government, family and community must play a role in maintaining the mental health of this group by supporting them positively in preparing for old age.
“Generally, those aged 50 and above will experience emotional, personality and character change, and decline in mind functioning.
“These changes need to be given appropriate attention to help them maintain a good mental health level,” he said.
Dr Lokman Hakim said the Health Ministry would enhance the care, treatment and rehabilitation systems for psychiatric patients through the services available at the hospitals and clinics.
“As a preventive measure, there are four mental institutions and 48 government hospitals that provide psychiatric and mental health services.
“There are now 252 psychiatrists and 80 clinical psychologists, besides 228 family medical specialists at the health clinics to detect and treat patients with mental disturbance or mental illness,” he said.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

163 websites selling health products shut down

 The Malaysian Insider

A total of 163 websites were blocked and shut down last June for advertising and selling health products which were not registered with the Health Ministry.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the websites were detected through integrated operations involving the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, police and the Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry.
He said this indicated an increase in the number of websites shut down as 99 sites were closed in integrated operations conducted from September to October last year.
“These operations also involved enforcement agencies from more than 100 countries worldwide and was coordinated by Interpol,” he said when replying to a question by Liang Teck Meng (BN-Simpang Renggam) in a question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat here today.
Dr Subramaniam said as of June this year a total of 1,153 advertising applications were received by the ministry’s pharmaceutical services division. Of those, 1,045 applications were approved. - Bernama, October 4, 2013.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Malaysia still in need of over 5,000 dentists

YourHealth | 

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is still in need of more than 5,000 dentists in order to achieve the desired ratio.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said currently the country has 4,558 dentists and of that figure 58 per cent of them were serving at government hospitals and clinics.
"The current ratio is one dentist to 6,436 residents," Dr Subramaniam said, adding the ministry hoped to achieve the target of 1:3,000 by 2020.
Dr Subramaniam said the ministry has been working closely with universities to increase the intake of dentistry students.
He said last year saw the graduation of 315 dentistry students and the number increased to 815 this year.
"And we are expecting the passing out of another 1,100 students next year," he said at the "My Teeth My Pearl" Oral Health Carnival officiated by the Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at a shopping mall here yesterday.
Dr Subramaniam said the ministry has also launched the oral health programme at 874 kindergartens, involving 17,722 children, last year.
He said there were a total of 50 dental clinics and a mobile dental unit in the country. Apart from this, dental departments have also been set up at 929 schools, 570 health clinics and 65 hospitals.
Rosmah said oral healthcare needed to begin when the child was still in the mother's womb.
According to research conducted in 2005, she said, some 76.2 per cent children have dental caries problem and each child has an average of six cavities.
"This problem is worrying, but it can be prevented by taking care of oral health from infancy," she added.
- See more at: http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/malaysia-still-need-over-5000-dentists#sthash.dIkceHCS.dpuf

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Dubious claims, fake receipts uncovered in uniform and shoes purchase at Health Ministry

The Malaysian Insider
Health Ministry staff filed dubious claims totalling more than double the market price for the tailoring of long sleeve tops and pants, backed by receipts from outlets that did not exist, the Attorney-General (AG) report revealed.
They also submitted claims in excess of RM200,000 for shoes, RM8,000 to RM9,000 for overcoats and up to RM2,800 for baju kurung.
In 2011, all uniformed staff were given three pieces of cloth to be tailored for outfits relevant to their jobs. The tailoring charges can be claimed as long as it does not exceed RM230 each and supported by an official receipt.
On top of that, since March last year, the ministry's staff were entitled to a RM150 claim for shoes, also by submitting an official receipt.
However, any excess will have to be borne by the staff.
The report noted that 1,014 Health ministry staff were found to have submitted fake receipts to claim for tailoring and the purchase of shoes.
Many of the premises stated on the receipts were either non-existent or without complete addresses and with inaccurate telephone numbers.
The report noted that 922 staff from 10 hospitals, health departments and other health ministry divisions submitted fictitious claims totalling RM545,105 for the tailoring of long sleeve tops and long pants, when the market price is between RM146,340 and RM200,780.
For the tailoring of overcoats, 95 staff from eight of the ministry's hospitals, agencies and departments submitted claims totalling RM5,080 when the market price is between RM2,114 and RM3,420, resulting in a difference of between RM1,660 and RM2,866.
It was also found that 721 staff from eight hospitals, agencies and departments submitted claims totalling RM210,002.76 for the purchase of footwear but the market price for the entire order is only between RM2,710 and RM3,280.
"Therefore, the total dubious claims for these shoes are between RM206,723 and RM207,293," said the report.
In its reply to the discrepancies above, the ministry had stated that there was confusion on the maximum amount of claims allowed for the attire.
The report also chided the ministry for paying RM320,000 to two companies to carry out health campaigns via Facebook and Twitter.
It awarded a RM199,068 contract to Eficaz Media to run an anti-smoking campaign called Tak Nak Merokok on Facebook and another RM120,500 to Astonish View to run Kempen Intervensi Penyakit Tidak Berjangkit (Intervention Campaign for Non-Contagious Diseases) on both Facebook and Twitter.
"The scope of work for both jobs are nearly the same but the price difference is 68% at RM78,568," it noted.
The report stated that Eficaz Media was appointed for a period of six months, between July and December 2011, to run the Facebook page. Payment was made based on the number of "Likes" recorded, which was set at 100,000.
However, by July 2012, the number of "Likes" had dropped by 3.58% or 3,460 and after the contract ended, the page was not updated.
In reply, the ministry said that it would update its work specifications and tendering process.
It also pledged to update its Facebook page and take steps to boost its number of "Likes". - October 1, 2013.

Malaysian Health Ministry Finds Food Dye in Three Chicken Samples

The Poultry Site

MALAYSIA - The Health Ministry has found three samples of chickens coloured with yellow food dye to be passed off as "kampung" chicken.
One sample found that tartrazine food colouring was used while two others were found to contain tartrazine and the Sunset Yellow FCF dye, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
According to The Star Online, he said action would be taken against the culprits.
Under the Food Regulation 1985, even food colouring cannot be added to chicken.
It is against the Food Act 1983 and if found guilty, the offender can be fined a maximum of RM20,000 or imprisoned not more than five years or both.
Dr Subramaniam said the samples containing the dyes were taken from Selangor and Penang but that samples from Johor and Kuala Lumpur were also taken for laboratory tests.
“Although some of the dyes are not harmful to health, it is wrong as the act gives a false impression of the product.
“We will continue monitoring and testing chicken samples to ensure that such irresponsible acts are stopped,” Dr Subramaniam said at a press conference on Friday.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement that the use of Aniline or any other harmful substance as food colouring was against the law under the Food Act 1983.
He warned that anyone found guilty of selling food items posing health risks could be fined up to RM100,000 or imprisoned for a period not exceeding ten years or both.
The public doubtful about any form of food quality can call the ministry’s Department of Food Safety and Quality at 03-8883 3558 or email fsq-division@moh.gov.my
StarMetro recently reported that some chicken sellers were cheating consumers by selling plucked yellow chickens as the kampung variety. when they were actually farm-bred chicken. Also higlighted was the more serious issue of Aniline dye being used in the colouring process.
Aniline dye is normally used to colour leather and woodworks.
Those who regularly buy chicken would have noticed that some plucked chickens are more yellow in colour than others.
The situation may have raised a few eyebrows but never questioned, that is untilStarMetro was alerted recently that some unscrupulous chicken sellers were adding yellow colouring to the chickens.

Health Ministry blamed over explosion of non-communicable diseases

Astro Awani

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has allegedly failed to address the alarming increase in non-communicable, or chronic, diseases (NCD) in the country.

Three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers, two of them doctors, today pinned the blame on the ministry which they said “failed to appreciate preventive measures and institute the right actions” to address the ‘crisis’.

PKR MP Dr Azman Ismail (Kuala Kedah) told a press conference that despite receiving more than RM18 billion budget allocation for 2013, the Ministry has mainly encouraged people to exercise, but that was "not good enough".

“Exercise is actually a good thing, but it is not good enough because among the leading factors that cause NCD is that nutritional factors, according the journals and scientific papers,” said Azman.

Azman, who was together with DAP MPs Dr Ko Chun Sen (Kampar) and Seah Leong Peng (Teluk Intan), said that experts agree that 70-80% of these diseases are due to the food one takes.

“These include omega fat imbalance, which leads to inflammation), excessive sugar consumption, refined carbohydrates and chemicals in the foods,” he said.

Azman said all these elements are commonly found in processed foods, and advised the public to take traditional foods.

“Traditional fats such as coconut oil, butter, coconut shavings, palm oil, ghee and lard are considered healthy, while man-made fats and trans fat is dangerous,” he explained.

He said processed foods, including breakfast cereals, are also unhealthy.

“We can have a total ban on trans fats. It is known and proven to be causing all these diseases and many people are unaware. In Denmark, Austria, Holland, California, they have banned it so much so that even their fastfood have become more healthy.”

Azman said that according to figures in 2010, there were 35,000 Malaysians who died due to heart attacks and strokes alone.

“Those figures don’t take into account of cancer, kidney problems and other diseases and leave more and more people maimed or disabled,” he said.

Azman said that victims are becoming younger and involve every level of society, adding that he gets at least two cases every week in his clinic in Kedah. He added that many of his patients were fishermen and farmers and were not even obese.

Citing more alarming statistics, Azman said that Malaysia is one of the highest number of such cases in the world. He said that Malaysia was the “Number One”  country when it comes to the number of diabetics and obese people among all Asean countries.

“We have 3.6 million diabetics and this has surpased predictions by the World Health Organisation which says that Malaysia is expected to have 807,000 by 2025.”

Meanwhile, Dr Ko, a cardiologist, said that the problem is not just confined to the affluent but also affect the poor.

“It is mainly due to wrong diet. Sufferers from working and lower classes. Malaysia has yet to achieve high income but we already have all the diseases of the western world,” he said.

Ko said that these problems are exacerbated by the lack of informaiton by the government and lack of regulation, such as the display of nutritional information in restaurants and food products.

A few days ago, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said NCDs are the leading cause of hospital admission and mortality in Malaysia.
Subramaniam also said NCD is also the highest cause of premature death in the country.

"NCD is a global pandemic. Based on the World Health Organisation's report in 2005, NCD contributed to 75 per cent of global disease burden where 60 per cent involved death.

"Death caused by NCD is expected to increase 17 per cent over the next 10 years and statistic shows that one in every five Malaysians aged above 30 is suffering from diabetes," he said.

NCD include non-infectious such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, cancer, obesity, osteoporosis and more.

In Malaysia, obesity is the current health problem with 8.5 million Malaysians having weight problem. About 4.4 million people, roughly one in three, are categorised as obese.

Dengue Deaths Rise in Malaysia - Southeast Asia Real Time - WSJ


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Dengue fever has killed 45 people in Malaysia this year – a jump of more than a third from same period last year — as the tropical country struggles to tame a mosquito-borne virus outbreak that has plagued the Southeast Asian region for decades.

Associated Press
A worker in June sprays mosquito repellent at a house in Bangkok. Thailand has seen 119 deaths this year due to dengue, while Malaysia reports 45 deaths from the virus.
The disease has claimed hundreds of lives in the Southeast Asian region this year and is a chronic problem from Africa to Asia to Latin America. More than 2.5 billion people worldwide are at risk of being infected with the virus. According to the World Health Organization, outbreaks have been reported even in the Europe in recent years.
“Deaths due to dengue continue to rise,” Lokman Hakim, deputy director general at Malaysia’s Ministry of Health, said in a statement.
Malaysia had recorded 21,453 dengue cases for the year through Sept. 21,  a 34.5% increase from 15,950 cases recorded in the same period a year earlier. On a weekly basis, 103 new dengue cases were reported. Meanwhile, the 45 deaths compare with last year’s 27 in the comparable time period.
Selangor state, which borders the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, has been hit the hardest, with 10,051 cases reported this year, leading to 12 deaths.
The virus, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, causes severe fever, headaches, rashes and muscle and joint pain. Severe forms can cause hemorrhagic fever. Still, there is no vaccine available. Treatment is limited to intravenous rehydration. Blood platelets are destroyed, leading to blood or plasma leakage. A patient can slip into “dengue shock,” with dangerously low blood pressure.
“The situation is quite alarming,” said Sivakumar Krishnan, spokesman of the federal Health Ministry.
The government has identified 19 hotspots, 18 of which are in Selangor, where pools of stagnant water serve as prime breeding sites for the Aedes mosquitoes. According to government data, Aedes’s breeding rose 28.6% in Selangor and 38.2% in the northern state of Perak, home to a sole hotspot.
To check the mosquito population, the Health Ministry is urging the public to find and destroy breeding grounds of these urban pests in and around their houses. Authorities have checked 17,000 premises this month and slapped penalties totaling 54,000 Malaysian ringgit ($16,539) on those whose premises had stale water pools containing Aedes’s larve. Those who fail to pay could be fined as much as 10,000 ringgit, or face up to two years in jail, or both for first offense. Repeat offenders risk being fined five times as much, or five years imprisonment, or both.
Moreover, government health workers are routinely conducting checks at construction sites and fumigating schools and other public places.
The disease is also troubling neighbor Singapore, a city-state that is well known for its clean roads and modern sanitation.
According data from the World Health Organization, Singapore reported  15,774 cases as of Sept. 27, compared with 3,109 in the same period last year.
Data from other countries in the region are mixed.
The Philippines reported a 4.6% annual decline in reported dengue cases as of Sept. 14 this year, at 124,290 from 130,241 last year.
However, according to government data in Thailand, dengue cases nearly tripled to 127,791 this year as of Sept. 24, from 45,224 in same period last year. The disease has claimed 119 lives this year, compared to 44 in all of 2012.
In Laos, 40,307 cases had been reported as of Sept. 6, compared to 4,594 in the comparable period last year, data from the World Health Organization show.
– Nopparat Chaichalearmmongkol in Bangkok, Cris Larano in Manila and Jason Ng in  Kuala Lumpur contributed to this article.