NEW DELHI: With 75 per cent of the population or 2 billion people in the Asia-Pacific region at risk, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has asked the member states to take concrete measures urgently in order to control the spread of dengue.
The severity of the public health threat from dengue also led to the inclusion of dengue control in one of the resolutions adopted at the just-concluded 61st Session of the Regional Committee meeting of the WHO South-Asia Region. Pandemic
A dengue pandemic swept across the region between 1991 and 2004, peaking with 3,50,000 cases in 1998. Of the 2.5 billion people at risk globally, 1.8 billion live in the Western Pacific.
The WHO has said in discussion papers at the ongoing regional committee meeting in Manila that dengue has greatly expanded over the last three decades owing to changes in weather patterns that expanded the habitat of the Aedes aegypti mosquito which carries the virus. Man-made problem
Dengue is a man-made problem which is linked to globalisation, rapid, unplanned and unregulated urban development, improper water storage and unsatisfactory sanitary conditions which provide breeding grounds for the mosquito. Movement of people to and from urban areas is another major factor. ‘Take tangible steps’
“We require our member states to take tangible steps towards implementing the Asia-Pacific Dengue Strategic Plan, especially in the area of strengthening the system for prediction, early detection, cross-border surveillance, preparedness and early response to outbreaks and epidemics,” according to a statement issued by Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South East Asia.
An effective approach must include community ownership, inter-sectoral collaboration and coordination across relevant Ministries for effective implementation and control of this vector-borne disease. Technical support
The WHO will provide technical support to the member states in implementing this plan. The Asia Pacific Dengue Strategic Plan (2009-2015) essentially assists countries to reverse the rising trend of dengue by enhancing their preparedness. Situation is of concern
The situation across the Asia-Pacific region, according to the WHO, is of concern. The transmission season for dengue in India — particularly Delhi — began in August, with its peak expected between October and November. As many as 38 people have died and over 2,800 affected due to dengue in India so far.
6 months ago