The number of dengue cases “has more than doubled in the last decade” in the Western Pacific, according to the WHO, BBC reports. “National resources need to be mobilized to sustain dengue prevention and control, and the disease’s profile needs to be raised on the global health agenda to stimulate the interest of international agencies and donors,” said Shin Young-soo, the WHO’s regional director for the Western Pacific, where the majority of the population at risk of dengue lives.
In parts of Asia, “policies outlawing sex work are undermining HIV/AIDS prevention efforts by fragmenting and stigmatizing the sex workers and turning condom possession into an act that could lead to jail time, NGO officials say,” IRIN reports (10/15).
The WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific meeting continued with leaders discussing regional immunization goals, public health emergencies, TB control, and the health effects of urbanization, multiple news outlets report.
Experts at the World Health Summit highlighted health concerns related to the growth of megacities, “roughly defined as cities with a population of more than 10 million,” Agence France-Presse reports.
Water shortages that could reduce food production and worsen economic conditions in Asia are worsening, Arjun Thapan, an infrastructure advisor with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said on Tuesday at the ADB’s “Water: Crisis and Choices” conference in Manila, Philippines, Agence France-Presse reports.
Officials Discuss Leadership, Donor Commitments, Eliminating Leprosy At Start Of WHO Western Pacific Region Committee Session
The WHO “must demonstrate strong leadership backed by impeccable technical competency, [Malaysian] Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said” at the opening ceremony of the 61st Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific Monday, Bernama reports. “I believe this important conference can provide the input for future global action against pandemics and other trans-boundary diseases affecting all countries and communities, especially developing countries,” he said.
Maternal health and dengue fever are among the issues that will be discussed at the 61st session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, Bernama reports. The meeting, which will take place this week in Malaysia, will be attended by 21 ministers and health officials from 33 countries in the region. WHO Regional Director of the Western Pacific Shin Young-Soo spoke at a press conference Sunday ahead of the meeting (10/10).
The World Health Organization (WHO) “has warned that 2.5 billion people are at risk” of dengue fever, “which has ‘grown dramatically in recent decades,” Agence France-Presse reports. WHO officials cite higher temperatures, growing populations and international travel for the “rapid rise in urban mosquito populations” and rise in dengue. Seventy percent of the at-risk population is in Asia, the WHO said.
Global Malaria Control Funding Has Gone Up Significantly Since 2007, But Funding Shortfall Remains, Study Says
Global malaria funding has gone up by 166 percent since 2007, but total funding is still 60 percent short of the $4.9 billion required for comprehensive malaria control this year, according to a study published in the journal Lancet on Saturday, Agence France-Presse reports. Malaria control financing has risen from $730 million in 2007 to $1.94 billion this year, according to the analysis (10/2).
A report (.pdf) released on Monday by the Asia Society and International Rice Research Institute recommends that “Asian countries should increase rice reserves to help stabilize prices and improve food security in the region which is home to about 65 percent of the world’s hungry,” Bloomberg reports.