JAKARTA, Indonesia, June 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- Leading Scientific Initiative Advocates Greater Global Recognition of the Impact of Dengue
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched the first ASEAN Dengue Day today in Indonesia, with related events occurring throughout the ASEAN member states. The date was chosen to coincide with the month in which dengue infections in the region typically peak. ASEAN Dengue Day is a new enterprise in the fight against dengue, aiming to:
Increase public awareness of dengue to help to reduce the risk of dengue transmission
Acknowledge that the ASEAN member states shoulder a large part of the global burden of dengue
Enhance regional collaboration on dengue and the shared responsibility of dengue control
Continue the shift from response-driven activities to forward planning and long-term prevention strategies
Focus attention on the need for new strategies to combat dengue
Call for a World Dengue Day
"The ASEAN Dengue Day will bring much needed attention to the major public health problem of dengue and it is strongly supported by the community of dengue experts", said Professor Sai Kit Lam from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, and Chairman of the Dengue v2V ('vaccine-to-vaccination') initiative. "But dengue is increasingly a global problem and we need to work towards global solutions. For this reason Dengue v2V calls for the expansion of the ASEAN Dengue Day to a World Dengue Day to acknowledge the impact of dengue worldwide and encourage a much needed international response".
Dengue is spreading around the world. Increasing numbers of travellers are returning from endemic regions with dengue infections and, for the first time in many decades, cases of dengue have been acquired within the USA and Europe. There has been a 30-fold increase in the number of dengue cases over the past 50 years and the populations of over 100 countries are at risk of dengue infection. Given the scale of the problem, it will require a united, global response to bring the problem of dengue under control.
About the Dengue v2V initiative
Dengue v2V is a scientific forum comprising international experts in dengue and public health from across Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas. The initiative is committed to ensuring that future dengue vaccines, once licensed, are readily introduced into the vaccination programmes of countries where dengue is a public health priority. The name, Dengue v2V, reflects its fundamental objective of supporting the transition from vaccine to vaccination. The introduction of a vaccine will be key to controlling dengue in the ASEAN region, where vaccination has been shown to be an affordable and cost-effective strategy. Encouragingly, the most advanced vaccine candidate is expected to be on the market by 2015. Dengue v2V was established in June 2009 and is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from sanofi pasteur.
About dengue fever
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the dengue virus, of which there are four serotypes. The disease is found throughout equatorial regions and is a potential threat to almost half of the world's population. Of the estimated 220 million people infected with dengue annually, two million, mostly children, develop dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), a severe form of the disease, and 21,000 will die. DHF is also a leading cause of hospitalisation, placing tremendous pressure on strained medical resources and having a heavy economic and societal impact. Many factors have contributed to a recent dramatic rise in dengue fever cases including urbanisation and increased travel.
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SOURCE Dengue v2V