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77th World Health Assembly Side Event


"Harnessing dengue & other arboviruses in a challenging world: a gateway to international cooperation in global health threats"
Thursday 30th May 2024 | 8:30-10:00

Networking breakfast 8:00-11:00​

On the occasion of the 77th World Health Assembly, the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases cordially invites you to participate in: 

WHA77 Side Event

"Harnessing dengue & other arboviruses in a challenging world: a gateway to international cooperation in global health threats"

Thursday 30th May 2024

Networking breakfast 8:00-11:00; meeting 8:30-10:00

Hotel President Wilson

47 Quai Wilson, Geneva, Switzerland

Hosted by the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases

Register here
This is an in-person event 

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- Dr Raman Velayudhan (WHO Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme) - global dengue & arbovirus update; scoping review on climate change, malaria, and NTDs

​- Silvia Dallatomasina (MSF Deputy General Director, Mexico & Central America): dengue situation in Mexico and Central America and the challenges in terms of surveillance, prevention and response


- Xavier Badia (The MENTOR Initiative) - awareness and response planning for dengue escalating in Europe

- Africa: Country & regional perspective

- Asia: Country & regional perspective 

- Dr Julia Fitzner (WHO Division of Health Emergency Intelligence and Surveillance Systems WSE, WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence) - surveillance & preparedness

- Discussion and open session with participants 

- Open discussion with participants 

Arboviruses, a group of viral infections transmitted by infected arthropods including mosquitoes, ticks and midges, represent a growing and significant public health threat globally, with over 700,000 deaths a year . Dengue fever, a tropical disease found in just 9 countries in the 1970s, is now observed in over 140 countries across most continents with an estimated 390 million cases annually. Alarmingly, infections have been occurring increasingly rapidly in recent years, with reported dengue cases growing tenfold over the last two decades. The same period has witnessed the emergence and re-emergence of explosive chikungunya outbreaks following a virus mutation identified in 2005 which facilitates its spread to new areas, and other mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever have a strong potential for large urban outbreaks in vulnerable populations. 

Around half of the world’s population is now at risk of dengue and an additional half-billion individuals could be at risk of arboviruses by 2050, with outbreaks occurring with unprecedented magnitudes and autochthonous cases appearing in new locations. This expansion is set to continue as drivers such as migration, globalization, urbanization and climate change bring the virus and the mosquitoes which carry it to new regions. Despite progress in innovative therapeutics and vector control solutions, complexities such as the circulation of four closely related but distinct dengue serotypes is likely to pose future challenges, and insufficient active surveillance of febrile illnesses have led to misdiagnoses and misreporting. 

Although arboviruses and the forces driving their expansion are threats of a global nature, response to these outbreaks remains fragmented and often falls under the remit of individual national health authorities with the control of the disease-carrying mosquito vector often incumbent on local and municipal agencies. With gaps in diagnosis and surveillance, accurate monitoring of outbreaks can remain a challenge. Against this backdrop, lessons from the COVID19 pandemic and accelerating efforts for pandemic preparedness, the rapidly growingly threat of arboviruses would urgently benefit from improved international cooperation and collaboration across diverse fields, from the development of robust dengue surveillance to coordinated procurement as innovations in vector control, treatments and vaccines emerge.   

In light of this, this WHA77 Side Event proposes to offer a forum as part of the 77th World Health Assembly to public health officials, policy makers and organisations, industry, NGOs and civil society as well as Member States and the WHO to:
- share updates on the evolving global arboviral situation
- share Member State experiences, statements and recommendations with viewpoints from SEARO, AFRO, Pan American and European regions
- frame the current arbovirus outbreaks as an opportunity to strengthen international cooperation on global health threats, in particular through the lens of current wider efforts in pandemic preparations
- to provide a breakfast networking opportunity around the topic of arboviral diseases
- to result in a Briefing Paper with recommendations  

Get involved
Add your name to the global petition for a World Dengue Day here and follow the progress of our movement by signing up to the Monthly Global Newsletter.  

Sign up to receive our Dengue Monthly Global Newsletter

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