BANGKOK, 22 June 2016 – Speaking in the regional observance of the ASEAN Dengue Day 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand on 14-15 June 2016, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, noted that the theme of this year’s ASEAN Dengue Day – “Community Empowerment: A Sustainable Success to Fight Dengue” – resonates very well with the ASCC Vision for 2025 of a community that is inclusive, sustainable, resilient, dynamic and engages and benefits the people. He highlighted that the theme also supports the vision of a Healthier ASEAN Community, under the ASEAN Post 2015 Health Development Agenda. DSG Vongthep added that “while dengue has caused a heavy health burden in the region in spite of continuous Government and Community efforts, ASEAN remains committed in the fight against dengue through progressive prevention and control.”
Dengue can be fatal disease if not prevented and controlled. It is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses. It occurs in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Among the estimated 2.5 billion people at risk globally, more than 70% reside in Asia Pacific countries (World Health Organization). The public health tools available to address dengue include the control of the mosquito population, maintaining cleanliness of the environment, community empowerment and engagement, surveillance and case management, health legislation and preventive vaccination.
The two-day activity commenced with an ASEAN Dengue Conference, which discussed updates on the management of dengue, including information on the development and use of the dengue vaccine. There were deliberations on the progress of the regional dengue situation as well as the initiatives to promote community empowerment through sustaining the fight against dengue and other disease prevention and control in ASEAN. A “Bangkok Call for Action on the Prevention and Control of Dengue” was finalised to enhance the cause.
Besides the convening of the conference, there was an undertaking of an community engagement for an ASEAN Dengue Day Campaign at the Assumption College in Bangkok. Posters, dengue prevention, control and surveillance interventions and student projects on the control of mosquitos were presented and exhibited. Delegates also participated in the dengue campaign in a nearby community where prevention and control policies and procedures are currently being advocated and strictly enforced.
The event was attended by representatives from ASEAN Member States , partners and stakeholders. This is an annual event endorsed by the ASEAN Health Ministers in 2011 and is observed simultaneously by ASEAN Member States.