KOTA KINABALU, June 18 (Bernama) — The first phase of a water flouridation [sic] programme for Sabah is scheduled to commence at the end of this year.
Sabah had earlier announced that it would receive a RM2.5 million allocation for the purpose under the Tenth Malaysian Plan.
Deputy Chief Minister and state Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said in principle, the programme would be implemented in stages.
“For the first phase, my ministry has identified 11 government water treatment plants comprising six plants to be upgraded and activated and five to be installed with the latest system in fluoridation technology.
“It also covers the water treatment plants in Kota Marudu, Kudat, Kota Belud, Ranau and Beaufort.
“The following phases will involve other water treatment plants irrespective of whether they are operated by the government or private sector,” he said at a state-level Water Fluoridation and Periodontium Health Campaign, here, Saturday.
The text of his speech was read out by Assistant Minister, Pang Yuk Ming.
The government has decided to reintroduce the fluoridation programme in the state which was stopped in 1989, in view of the high number of dental caries cases due to the low content of fluoride in piped water.
Pairin said the national epidemiological research carried out in 2007 showed almost 75 per cent of school pupils aged 12 years in Sabah suffered from caries with an average of one pupil having three permanent teeth damaged.
This, he said, was the highest record in Malaysia and following that, the state government agreed to expand the programme as a step to control caries.