• Dr. Raphael Ximenes (University Health Network

They signed the World Dengue Day petition: find out why


The global petition calling for a World Dengue Day has garnered support from signatories across the globe and across disciplines.

Dr. Raphael Ximenes is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada, and in this Infectious Thoughts interview, we find out why it was important for him to rally behind this movement.

What is your professional or personal connection to or interest in dengue fever?

My interest in dengue is a result of both personal and professional factors. Personally, when you live in a place where the same problem happens over and over again, I think it's only natural that we have an interest in contributing to finding solutions. I'm from Brazil, where dengue is endemic. Professionally, I sought to work with mathematical modelling, given my background in physics. As dengue is endemic in Brazil, I decided to add my interest in mathematical models to a problem that affects so many people every year. That is where my doctorate was born, which received the title "Risk of dengue for tourists in Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games - Rio 2016, using mathematical modelling", where I published with other colleagues some articles on the subject.

What are some of the main reasons for which you signed the petition?

I believe that actions such as this, to create the World Day of Dengue, aimed at bringing to light important issues that are marginalized, should always be supported as they are essential for scientific development. Dengue is responsible for thousands of deaths each year, but resources for research, treatment, and prevention are still insufficient. It is necessary for people around the world to know the importance of dengue for this scenario to change.

What are some of the ways in which you feel a World Dengue Day petition will benefit those at risk of dengue but also the wider global community?

Putting dengue fever in focus by removing the status of neglected tropical disease is the way to more research investment and consequently, the solution to control and decrease the number of people infected.

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