Sipitang: A Town Of Beauty Or Disease?

The most important thing to prevent diseases is hygiene. A single most important measure to control the spread of infection is by practicing hand hygiene. It is clearly stated from perspective of science and any religion that everyone must keep everything clean to keep germs away.

2 years in Sipitang working as a medical officer, I have witness myself that this town has an ugly side behind the beautiful beach and its culture. Diseases keep spreading even no matter how much medication we dispense from the hospital. Non communicable diseases is a norm everywhere but what bothers me is the infectious diseases that has no ending.

I came to believe that the health system in this town need to be upgraded so that we can reach more people. The more we can reach, the more I realize that infection is still a burden in this district of Sipitang. Where does the infection came from? Is it raining from the sky?

Most medical practitioner will laugh with that sentence. Rarely diseases fall from the sky. Unlike the traditional medicine practitioner who look up to the sky asking for God to chase away the demons, we usually look down to the ground and find what has been causing the illness for our patient.

One ugly truth is the hygiene of this town is totally down to 10 percent ( if there is scale for that. I am sure there is). Everywhere I can see mice running around, I can see stray dog lying around the corner, bird poops, stray cats, and the litter everywhere.

If someone still remember when a celebrity name Aizat came to perform in Sipitang, he made a controversial statement saying that this town is dirty. Not to my surprise most of respond from the internet do agree with him. This means that Sipitang community know about this problem.

This make thing more difficult. For a group of people who acknowledge that their town is dirty will cause a headache. Its better if they deny it so that someone can prove it and change them. Or just keep silence and fix themselves. But once a community agree with that statement mean that they know their town is dirty and why they did not fix from the beginning?

Nevertheless, this also show that Sipitang people are not stubborn. By acknowledging that statement, it is much easier to make a step to fix the problem.

I came to understand that the younger generation of Sipitang is quite educated and all of them want their town to change. to be more clean and free of diseases. The old generation usually will have to agree on this. I believe all the native in Sipitang will make sure their town is clean all the time. However, in my recent observation, I still can see rubbish thrown at the side of the road, the drain, at the beach and everywhere. I even saw a routine attitude of driver throwing out can of drink or a cigarettes from their car and drive like nothing has happen. I can still smell cat urine stench the wet market. I still struggle with flies everywhere you go.

Look at the beach for god sake. This town has the one of the most beautiful sunset view from its beach but look at the sea..rubbish floating everywhere!

Its chronic. This town will never make it if no change made. I can see one big poster at Sipitang Wet Market to encourage people to keep their environment clean but down below the big poster or billboard, litters everywhere.

I am an outsider here in Sipitang. Just 2 years in this town but my job permits me to see the ugly side of it. Dengue, Malaria, leptospirosis, food poisoning, all of this diseases can be prevented by keeping our level of hygine high. Maybe people in Sipitang will disagree and perhaps chase me out and ask me to keep out of Sipitang after I write this, but my intention is just to make this town better.

I have an idea to make a charity, a group event just to clean this town. A small group would help. By collecting rubbish voluntarily in maybe one or two place at a time. By those activity we can promote to people to do the same. Just collect the rubbish and put it in a proper place.

I have no idea how to start this. I just hope that some people would have the same thought as I do so that we can make a step on this.

My aim is to keep this town clean and free from diseases..

p/s: contact me at if you have better idea on how to make this town clean.


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