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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. In this joint Infectious Thoughts interview, we hear about why it was important to rally behind this movement from Dr. Alimatou Hema, pharmacist at GRAS (Groupe de Recherche Action en Santé) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Pr. Eliningaya J. Kweka, from the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute in Arusha, Tanzania; and Dr. Kenneth Arkoh Amoquandoh, Disease Control Officer at Ghana Health Services.

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

Dr. A. Hema: I obtained my Doctorate in Pharmacy (PharmD) in January 2017. My thesis focused on the molecular diagnostic of dengue cases in Ouagadougou in 2016. This work was very interesting because it enabled the identification of two different serotypes of dengue virus during the dengue epidemic of 2016.

Pr. E. J. Kweka: I am Medical Entomologist, working at the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute which is based in Arusha, Tanzania.

Dr. K. Amoquandoh: I am a disease control and surveillance trainee, working on the control and eradication of disease.

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

Dr. A. Hema: During my work on dengue, I understood that dengue is a rapidly emerging disease and I witnessed first-hand its impact, which constitute a major public health problem because its complications are numerous and mortality levels can be high.

Pr. E. J. Kweka: I have signed the petition because dengue is a global priority and I personally wish to reduce the burden of dengue which is spreading and risking mankind worldwide.

Dr. K. Amoquandoh: I am eager to learn more and join forces with both an international movement and global partners to fight diseases in my field.

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?

Dr. A. Hema: A World Dengue Day would be very useful as a sensitization day to raise the knowledge of communities on the preventive methods against dengue, such as the protection against mosquito bites and reducing the proliferation of mosquitoes.

Pr. E. J. Kweka: The increased focus on dengue provided by a World Dengue Day would have many varied and positive effects. For example, this would be a major step in ultimately protecting people from not being sick, which has the effect of adding value to their income generating activity. Also, for nations, it can reduce the health budget for treatment of dengue and thereby give priority to other diseases. This also facilitates creating an enabling environment for tourists with reduced risk of dengue.

Dr. K. Amoquandoh: For my experience, education and sensitisation yield the best results in disease control - a global campaign is an important step in disease awareness and control.

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