JAKARTA, May 6 (Xinhua) -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have joined forces to assist Asia Pacific countries in identifying priority actions for dengue prevention and control, a statement released by the ASEAN Secretariat said here on Friday.
Dengue is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world and Asia Pacific bears 75 percent of the current global dengue disease burden. The disease has large impact on health, the economy and the entire society.
At a workshop in Manila, Philippines, from May 3 to 5, representatives of ASEAN member states recognized the need to extend advocacy for dengue prevention and control to all sectors of the society.
They also shared their national plans for the forthcoming simultaneous launch of the ASEAN Dengue Day on June 15.
Advocacy plans will center on calls for shared responsibility and the need for everyone to act. "Dengue prevention and control is a shared responsibility," said Ferdinal Fernando, Assistant Director of the Health and Communicable Diseases Division of the ASEAN Secretariat. "Unless everybody plays their role, dengue will not be controlled."
Participants also agreed to move from response-driven activities to long-term prevention and preparedness, strengthening national and regional alert and response capacities, as well as enhancing regional collaboration.
"Dengue will continue to be a problem as the world faces population growth, greater urbanization, increases in population movements and variations in climate," said Takeshi Kasai, Director of the Division of Health Security and Emergencies, WHO- Western Pacific Regional Office. "We have to go beyond reacting to taking action all year round."