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HFM: Conflicting statements = more panic
By Kapal Berita
17/10/2000 8:00 am Tue
Harap maaf kerana agak malas hendak menterjemahkan
rencana dibawah ini. Apa yang terserlah dari bala
penyakit HFM ini ialah yang mengurusnya terlalu
"memandai" dan terlalu banyak tangan. Ia juga
bermakna media gagal berfungsi dengan baik.
Kita perlu memikirkan siapakah yang sewajarnya
perlu dijaga - nyawa kanak-kanak atau "nyawa"
menteri? Nyawa kanak2 tidak ada gantinya - tetapi
"nyawa" menteri yang membaiki labu ini tidak
berguna. Dia hanya berfungsi mengejar kerjaya
dan undi parti sahaja. Kata orang tua-tua,
melepaskan batuk aje ditangga....
HFM: Conflicting statements causing more panic
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp? file D/2000/10/15/nation/15jzsund&sec Dna
Sunday, October 15, 2000
Conflicting statements causing more panic
Did we say outbreak? The Johor Health Department on Thursday said it was.
And so the media gave prominence to the story with the intention to tell
people to take precautions.
At that point, the public needed answers and not just mere assurances.
The next morning Deputy Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Mohamad Taha
Arif said it was not an outbreak as the number of cases was not high and
were mild ones.
Asked what would constitute an outbreak, he said there was no past data
which could be used as a guide.
In any case, he said, only the Health Minister was empowered to declare an
But at the same time, he announced that the ministry was activating its
crisis management centre to monitor the situation. If the situation was not
serious why open the centre?
Then, National Unity and Social Development Minister Datuk Dr Siti Zaharah
Sulaiman made an announcement that did not seem to be in tune with what the
health authorities had said.
She ordered all the ministry's 2,000-plus kindergartens and daycare centres
to close until further notice.
However, that night, Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Jui Meng reiterated that
it was not an outbreak. People, he said, should not panic as the situation
was under control.
Obviously, the public were confused. The next morning, The Star's office
was flooded with queries from readers asking what the real HFM situation
was and what they should do.
If the media cannot get proper answers, how much less the ordinary people.
If we have learned anything from a previous similar incident that occurred
in Sarawak three years ago, the authorities should by now have everything
in place to face an increasingly skeptical public, more so since three
children have died.
In a crisis, if we may call it a crisis, one important principle is to have
all the facts. Then there will be consistency. No one will be speaking out
of turn and the people will truly feel reassured.
That's all the people want--to be given the facts of the situation and to
know what to do.
Analysis: Accurate and vital information on HFM disease a service to public
By Abdul Razak Ahmad
15 October 2000
THERE is poor co-ordination between varying levels of authority responsible
for handling the spate of Hand, Foot and Mouth (HFM) disease cases.
This can be seen in the many contradictory statements issued this week