Today there is yet another report of an NS incident that involved dozens of NS trainees who were hospitalised after a jungle training exercise.
NS has been in the news regularly for the wrong reasons and about a week ago there was another report of food poisoning in another camp that had the name "Resort" in its description.
You can also read a response from a malaysiakini reader here.
In the latest incident, the trainees fell sick after a 2-day jungle trekking course and in the report, the doctor was reported to have told a trainee:
"The doctor said we had high fever and nothing else" and the report also quoted
"Johor Women, Family, Community Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Robia Kosai said the high fever affecting the trainees was not serious.
“The virus could have spread among the trainees,” "
It seems so convenient to blame any incident of high fever, vomiting and nausea on unknown viruses.
Now if you care to read up and analyse their activities before the incident, it appears that these trainees could be suffering from heat exhaustion and possibly they were not able to recover from the jungle-trekking but carried out normal activities on returning to camp.
It is possible that some earlier trainees may have died from heat stroke as they were not given the proper treatment until it was too late.
If you look at the dark uniforms and berets used by the trainees, it is not a good design to reduce the chances of heat exhaustion.
Unless parents can lobby their MPs to get an independent review of the NS Scheme that sucks up RM600m each year and causes on average 4 deaths a year, each parent should warn their children about eating stale food and the symptoms of heat stress. If you have heat stress, you may not be coherent enough to recognise your own problem but you may save someone else's life.