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PULAU RHU BERI KEPUASAN 
Oleh Zubir Mohd Yunus

PELANCONG yang memilih kawasan pulau sebagai destinasi pelancongan ketika berkunjung ke Terengganu, sudah pasti mengetahui kewujudan beberapa pulau, seperti Pulau Perhentian, Redang dan Kapas.

Ini kerana destinasi sudah terkenal, malah sebati dengan nama setiap pulau berkenaan sudah tercatat dalam peta industri pelancongan negara ini. Namun, masih ada beberapa pulau di negeri itu yang belum dikenali tetapi diyakini mampu memberi kepuasan kepada pengunjung kerana memiliki keistimewaan setanding dengan nama pulau lain yang lebih popular.

Jika menyebut Pulau Rhu umpamanya, orang ramai khasnya pelancong mungkin menganggap ia agak asing kerana tidak tercatat dalam senarai destinasi pelancongan menyebabkan tidak ramai yang mengetahui kedudukan sebenar pulau itu.

Pulau Rhu terletak kira-kira 15 batu nautika dari pelabuhan kecil Kuala Besut, di utara Terengganu ialah tempat pelancongan yang baru diteroka dan sedang giat dimajukan bagi melengkapkan lagi pelan pembangunan pelancongan berasaskan keindahan pantai dan pulau di negeri ini.

Perjalanan ke situ menggunakan bot laju dari terminal pelancongan di Kuala Besut dengan mengambil masa kira-kira 20 minit dan 30 minit bot biasa yang menyusuri pantai sudah cukup memikat pelancong sambil melihat keindahan pemandangan tanah besar.

Pulau Rhu seperti juga kepulauan lain tetap mempunyai keindahan alam semula jadi yang menarik dan mengkagumkan dengan pantai yang putih bersih serta kebiruan air Laut Cina Selatan yang mengasyikkan pengunjung. Malah mereka yang berpeluang berkunjung ke situ akan dapat menikmati permainan dan kegiatan air, seperti menyelam untuk melihat spesies laut, seperti karang, siput, rumpai air, batu karang dan pelbagai jenis ikan.

Selain itu, pelbagai aktiviti sukan lasak lain boleh dijalankan oleh
pelancong, seperti snokeling, menyelam scuba, meredah hutan, berkhemah, memancing dan permainan bola pantai. Dengan keluasan 1.4 hektar, pelancong boleh menjelajah ke persekitaran
pulau dengan mengambil masa perjalanan kira-kira satu setengah jam sambil melihat pemandangan indah sekitarnya.

Pulau itu yang tidak mempunyai penghuni tetap kini mula dikunjungi manusia apabila Persatuan Nelayan Kawasan (PPK), Kuala Besut berusaha gigih memajukan tempat itu yang kini dikenali sebagai Rhu Hentian Resort (RHR).

Pengurusnya, Mohamed Yusof berkata, usaha membangunkan pulau itu sebagai salah satu destinasi pelancongan adalah bagi mempertingkatkan kegiatan ekonomi persatuan, terutama dalam industri pelancongan.

Katanya, sebagai permulaan pihaknya membelanjakan RM400,000 yang diperolehi daripada Tabung Pembangunan Ekonomi Persatuan Nelayan (TPEPN) yang dikeluarkan Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia (LKIM).

Mereka yang berminat dan ingin mencuba kegiatan itu sambil beriadah di Pulau Rhu boleh menghubungi PNKB di Kompleks Pendaratan Ikan LKIM Kuala Besut, Terengganu atau menerusi talian 09-6956146/6956623 atau faksimili 09-6956282.

CARA KE SANA
PELANCONG dari Kuala Lumpur, sama ada melalui penerbangan dari Kuala Terengganu atau Kota Bharu, Kelantan, boleh pergi ke Kuala Besut dengan mendapatkan perkhidmatan kereta sewa atau bas.

Mereka juga boleh mendapatkan perkhidmatan bas ekspres Rangkaian Mewah KL/Besut di Perhentian Putera dan singgah di Kuala Besut. Di Kuala Besut anda perlu mendapatkan perkhidmatan bot pelancongan yang sedia menunggu di terminal pelancongan dengan caj tambang bot pelancong biasa RM15 (pergi/balik) dan bot laju RM20 (pergi/balik).


TRAVEL SMART, TRAVEL SAFE
By: Cik Rashidah Abdul Ghani


KUALA LUMPUR - Imagine yourself in an exotic destination, one which you have
always longed to visit... Now, imagine yourself bedridden with one of the most common diseases affecting travellers - Hepatitis A - whilst on vacation in the same exotic location.

The risk of being infected by Hepatitis A virus when one is travelling is that even in resort-standard hotels, the normal non-immune travellers has a 1 in 300 chance of developing Hepatitis A for each month of stay in a developing country.

For budget travellers, the risk may be six times greater.

Head of Virology Unit Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM), Assoc. Prof. Datin Dr Ilina Isahak said, Hepatitis A is most commonly spread from person to person mostly through faecal contamination and hand-to-mouth contact,
or through contaminated food and water and rarely through blood transfusion or
pooled serum.

Almost anything that can be swallowed is a potential source of infection, particularly if it is prepared by an infected food handler.

Cold drinks, ice, uncooked vegetables, salads, raw meat and shellfish are all well-known sources of infection.

Being easily transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food (molluscs, salads, fruits, etc) or water, travellers are especially susceptible to the virus as they tend to eat-as-they-go.

She said, Hepatitis A virus (HAV) causes inflammation of the liver, and the severity of the disease increases with age.

Major risk factors of the disease are those being born before 1945, and being brought up in areas where Hepatitis A is highly endemic and having a history of non-neonatal jaundice of uncertain cause.

Meanwhile minor risk factors are having travelled in a high-risk area, (particularly for more than one year), having a history of injecting drug use, engaging in male homesexual activity, having lived in a squat or travelled rough and having lived with someone who had jaundice.

About the clinical course of Hepatitis A, Dr Ilina said, it can be divided into four phases that is incubation period, prodromal phase, jaundice phase and recovery.

The severity of the disease depends on the age of the patient. In young children usually it is a symptomatic often without jaundice. In adults, there is symptomatic infection often with jaundice. Among children less than six years of
age 70 percent symptomatic. Among older children and adults infection is usually symptomatic in more 70 percent of patients.

The incubation period is 15 to 40 days with an average of 28 days. At the end of this phase the viral excretion is at its peak and the patients are most infectious.

Early symptoms are sudden onset of flu, fever, lethargy, headache and loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort, followed by jaundice. Dark urine and pale faeces towards the end of prodromal phase. And often mark the point when the patient seeks medical attention.

The jaundice phase lasts from a few days to few weeks. Usually not more than two months. It may be accompanied by loss of appetite, aversion to food especially cigarettes, enlarged liver, enlarges spleen, enlarged lymph nodes.

When the jaundice resolves, its most parameters return to normal. The patient can expect to be fully fit in six to 12 months although the muscle weakness and lethargy may persist.

In some patients complications may occur. Complication include fulminant hepatitis characterized by increasing severity of jaundice, rapid deterioration of liver functions, drowsiness and coma.

Relapse can occur in three to 22 percent of cases occuring between four to15 weeks after the initial episode. Other complications include cholestatic jaundice, polyneurits, slow heart beat.

Vaccines Regional Medical Manager of SmithKline Beecham, Dr Htay H.Han said,
generally, the disease is prevalent in developing countries with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation.

Hepatitis A infection among unprotected travellers is 1000 times more common than cholera, and 100 times more common than typhoid.

It is becoming common in travelers from developed countries coming to endemic countries.

In endemic countries with poor standard of hygiene and sanitation, Hepatitis A is usually acquired during childhood and most of the population become immune.

He said, Hepatitis A differs from Hepatitis B in terms of its mode of transmission and the severity of the disease.

Hepatitis A rarely persist and causes liver cancer whereas Hepatitis B is more debilitating and leads to more severe complications such as hardening of the liver and liver cancer.

Dr Ilina said, categories of travelers are at risk are the one from developed countries especially hitchhikers and backpackers.

The risk to these travelers are caused by contaminated food, salads and fruits prepared by contaminated water, ice cubes in drinks, shellfish and bathing in contaminated water.

Fret not, get "short"! The best way to prevent catching the dreaded disease and not ruin your dream holiday is to get vaccinated! Once vaccinated, you can expect to be protected for at least 20 years.

As such, vaccination is highly recommended for people in the high-risk group, that is business travellers, holidaymakers, expatriates, airline personnel, volunteer workers as well as military personnel.

Immunization against Hepatitis A is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for international travellers to countries such as Africa, Asia and South-East Asian, the Mediterranean basin and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America, Mexico and part of the Caribbean.

Non endemic countries are North America, Canada, Western Europe, Scandinavian countries, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Ilina said, Shanghai experienced Hepatitis A epidemic in 1988 with 300,000 cases associated with contaminated shellfish and 47 people died.

Malaysia is categorized into moderate endemicity. There is a decrease in prevalence in children below 10 years from 39 percent in 1985 to 15 percent in 1993. In the 11-20 year age group the prevalence rate dropped from 51 percent to 29 percent. In adults 40-60 year age group the prevalence rate remains 93-96
percent.

Immunising an individual who is already immune is unnecessary, but does no harm. Indeed the vaccine, which had been marketed since 1992, are highly immunogenic and the protective level could be present for 20 years, she explained.

With the country's economy recovering as well as the globalisation of trade and industry, more people will tend to travel abroad, especially to less developed countries.

Given this current travel trend, it is important that travellers recognise the implications of Hepatitis A infection as this would be an unwelcomed inconvenience.

Although one can prevent the disease by maintaining good personal hygiene and avoiding dodgy eating places, there is still a threat of infection since one has no control over external factors such as the cleanliness of food handlers and the overall standard of hygiene in the country of visit.

Therefore, vaccination is still the best bet for travellers. After all, prevention is better than cure.


SIDANG REDAKSI PENDIDIKAN AGAMA WANITA ALAM SEKITAR POLITIK AM HIIBURAN KESIHATAN PELANCONGAN

KE LAMAN UTAMA