Sixth Asia Dengue Summit Highlights Innovations in Dengue Prevention, Control and Management

The 6th Asia Dengue Summit (ADS) was held in Thailand from 15th to 16th June 2023. The summit was hosted by Tropical Medicine Cluster, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand in conjunction with Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, the Thai Red Cross Society; Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University; and the Ministry of Public Health. The 6th ADS was convened by Asia Dengue Voice and Action (ADVA); Global Dengue and Aedes Transmitted Diseases Consortium (GDAC); Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Tropical Medicine and Public Health Network (SEAMEO TROPMED); Fondation M�rieux (FMx) and the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD). Dengue experts from academia and research, and representatives from the Ministries of Health, Regional and Global World Health Organization (WHO) and International Vaccine Institute (IVI) participated in the three-day summit. With more than 51 speakers and 451 delegates from over 24 countries, 10 symposiums, and 2 full days, the 6th ADS highlighted the growing threat of dengue and its antigenic evolution, flagged the urgent need to overcome vaccine hesitancy and misinformation crisis, and focused on dengue control policies, newer diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, travel-associated dengue, and strategies to improve community involvement.

This article summarizes the key highlights from the speaker presentations during the 6th Asia Dengue Summit.

Dengue poses an enormous threat to global public health with unprecedented human and economic cost, which is likely to be even higher than estimated. Dengue is endemic in over 128 countries with 3.6 billion people living in high-risk areas resulting in 390 million infections per year. Asia bears 70% of the global dengue burden particularly affecting people under 14 or over 70 years of age. With growing population and urbanization the risk of dengue in Southeast Asia is predicted to rise even more warranting the need for robust and sustained dengue control efforts. Furthermore, with the added challenges from global warming and increased international travel, the risk of dengue spread to non-endemic countries poses a global health security risk.

The summit highlighted key challenges from shifting dengue epidemiology, dual infection with dengue and COVID-19, vaccine hesitancy and misinformation crisis. However, the focus was on solutions through newer diagnostics and therapeutics, newer vaccines and technological advances, and strategies to improve community involvement. The summit provided an ideal opportunity for healthcare care professionals, researchers, epidemiologists, and representatives from the Ministries of Health to share strategies for successful dengue control.

Keeping in line with its theme "Road Map to Zero Dengue Death," the summit emphasized key approaches for dengue control-strengthening epidemiological surveillance, improving clinical awareness and preparedness, continued innovations in dengue diagnostics and therapeutics, vector control, vaccine advocacy, and multi-sectoral collaboration.

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