In response to the increasing threat of dengue in the Asia Pacific region, member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) marked the second year celebration of the ASEAN Dengue Day with the theme “ASEAN Unity for Dengue-Free Community” on 15 June 2012.
While Myanmar hosted the regional celebration, other member countries observed ASEAN Dengue Day simultaneously to increase public awareness on dengue, mobilize resources for disease prevention and control and strengthen regional collaboration and responsibilities to control dengue across Asia.
In the Philippines, the ASEAN Dengue Day was held in San Fernando City, Pampanga. Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona led local chief executives, health workers, barangay officials and delegates from the local government units (LGUs) in Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and Metro Manila in re-launching the dengue campaign dubbed as “Aksiyon Barangay Kontra Dengue, Pagtibayin!”
Highlights of the celebration include simulation exercises on use of short messaging system (SMS) for real-time reporting on dengue cases, presentation of barangay dengue brigade (dengue warriors) of San Fernando City, and the signing of commitment of support by the local chief executives.
In his message, Secretary Ona emphasized that dengue prevention and control is a shared responsibility, “Unless everybody plays their role, dengue will not be controlled.”
Secretary Ona also reiterated the importance of community participation in the country’s fight against dengue. “To control dengue, cleanliness of the surroundings is very important to avoid possible habitats favorable for mosquito living and breeding,” said Dr. Ona.
Countries celebrating ASEAN Dengue Day include, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.