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International fight against Dengue planned

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  • International fight against Dengue planned

    International fight against Dengue planned

    Singapore (dpa)

    Experts from 22 Asia-Pacific countries are meeting in Singapore to draw up an eight-year battle plan against dengue fever, participants said Tuesday.

    Details in the Asia-Pacific Dengue Strategic Plan are being finalised during the week-long meeting, with results to be presented in September to regional health ministers.

    It is crucial that the plan be compelling enough to attract both the money and political will to fight the disease, said Dr John Ehrenberg, the Western Pacific regional adviser of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    Dengue fever respects no borders. "It is an urban disease, a product of our global village, where people move around a lot," said Dr Michael Nathan, chief of vector ecology at WHO's department of control of neglected tropical diseases.

    The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than 70 per cent of dengue cases, WHO said. Some 50 million to 100 million cases have been reported worldwide annually, 30 times higher than 50 years ago.

    There have been 1,734 dengue cases in Singapore during the first four months of this year, 36 per cent more than the same period of 2007.

    The plan is expected to cover strategies;
    on surveillance,
    case management,
    changing behaviour
    and combating the dengue-spreading Aedes mosquito.