Dengue cases have spiked in Malaysia and the number of cases as of 6 December 2014 reached 98,128, up from just 37,698 cases in the same period a year ago. On a personal level, two of my family members contracted dengue within the last 3 months.
In view of the rising dengue epidemic in Malaysia, Permanis, owned by Asahi Group, has launched an interesting Revive anti-dengue campaign through the MyTaxi app. The kit comes with mosquito repellent patches, an awareness infographic and yes, 3 cans of Revive Isotonic. As a non-Malaysian, you may wonder what isotonic drink has got to do with dengue? In this country, isotonic drink is one of the many non-scientific remedies to cure dengue apart from consuming crab soup, guava juice and papaya leaves.
The most interesting thing about the campaign is Revive is trying to topple 100Plus as the preferred isotonic drink for dengue patients. At the moment, Malaysians often prescribe 100Plus to their family members who are down with dengue. Recently, my aunt contracted dengue and several bottles of 100Plus could be seen on the table next to her hospital bed. Yours truly also consume 100Plus when down with fever.
Since the curative effect of isotonic drink has not been proven scientifically, what Revive did was advising people, implicitly at those suffering from dengue, to “rehydrate” with Revive isotonic drink.
Communal work (gotong-royong) is a following up activity by Revive to keep the surrounding area clean to combat the deadly dengue menace.
The rehydrate with Revive campaign focusing specifically at dengue may play into the hands of 100Plus. The F&N brand has not launched any campaign, correct me if I am wrong, to associate itself as a “cure” for dengue. With Revive coming out openly on the benefits of isotonic drink, what this campaign achieves is reinforcing what Malaysians already know and placing an official mark of approval on the usage of isotonic drink to relief the symptoms of dengue.