|Telling signs: Prof Suhaimi and HUSM engineering department chief Ikwan Johar Mohamed (far left) showing the rat trail at the hospital grounds.|
The committee set up to deal with the rat problem is now mulling over the idea of having an owl colony within the hospital grounds to ecologically control the rat population, said Prof Suhaimi Sidek, who spoke on behalf of the hospital’s director Datuk Dr Zaidun Kamari.
“Owls love eating rats. If everything goes as planned, we will first have seven to eight owl nests set up in the compounds,” he told a press conference here yesterday, adding that it was not too costly to buy the birds and set up their habitat.
However, he noted that the idea was at the infancy stage. The Star frontpaged a report highlighting the rat menace at the campus café that had gone uncontrolled and was a health hazard to the public and the 3,000 off-university campus population.
Prof Suhaimi said counter measures involving some RM100,000 had been carried out including placing countless rat traps and glue to bring down the rodent’s population.
“Apart from that, we embarked on an awareness campaign that involved not just the campus population but the public. All caretakers of patients are not allowed to bring in outside food into the wards,” he said.
Prof Suhaimi admitted that almost all the floors of the 12-storey wards building were infested with rats especially the paediatrics ward on the eighth floor.
He insisted that the rat population had been reduced compared to that in October last year, when The Star first reported about the problem. However, he denied that any of the medical students were admitted for food poisoning.
State Local Government, Environment and Health committee chairman Datuk Abdul Fattah Mahmood said he would address the problem when he returned from China next week.
Source: The Star Online | Nation | 30 Sept. 2014