Biology prof Edillo participates in 7th Asia Dengue Summit in Malaysia

Frances E. Edillo, Ph.D., a full professor and head of the Mosquito Research Laboratory (MRL) at the University of San Carlos (USC) Department of Biology attended the 7th Asia Dengue Summit (ADS) on June 4–7, 2024, at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

With the theme “Towards Zero Dengue Deaths: Innovation, Collaboration, Action in Asia,” the 7th ADS had the following objectives: (1) to bring together experts and stakeholders from various fields, clinicians, scientists, and public health officials in training to discuss and address the challenges of dengue and (2) to achieve our goal of developing and applying innovative strategies to better prevention and control of global dengue. 

Professor Zulkifli Ismail, Chairman of the Organizing Committee and Clinical Professor of KPJ Healthcare University College, Malaysia officially opened the summit and described Asia Dengue Voice and Action’s (ADVA’s) journey through the past six ADS. Malaysian Deputy Minister of Health, Y. B. Dato Lukanisman Bin Awang Sauni, delivered an impactful address. 

The summit included 13 symposia, 550 speakers and delegates from 20 countries in Asia, Europe, and the USA, 74 posters and 12 booths that provided scientific and insightful presentations, discussions, and renewed hope that energized our collective efforts to eradicate dengue as one of the ten threats to global health according to the World Health Organization.

The summit’s first symposium dealt with dengue in Asia. Professor Adi Utarini of the Department of Health and Policy Management, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia discussed the promising results of a Wolbachia-based Aedes aegypti release trial in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Dr. Husnina Binte Ibrahim, Deputy Director, Communicable Disease Control Division of the Malaysian Ministry of Health, presented Malaysia’s program for dengue prevention and control.  

Professor Edillo also presented the genetic structure of Aedes aegypti, the primary dengue mosquito vector in the Philippines that might impact vector control strategies amidst global warming.

Prof. Edillo’s presentation titled “Genetic structure of Aedes aegypti dengue mosquitoes in the Philippines: Implications for vector control amidst global warming” was very well received by the audience.

The summit included cutting-edge information and topics discussed by several global scientists, experts, clinicians, and some young minds on new advances in vector control, scaling up implementation of Wolbachia-treated mosquito releases for sustainable control of dengue and other arboviral diseases, modeling methods, intricacies of developing new dengue vaccines, and strengthening early detection and appropriate clinical management to reduce the case fatality rates, thus achieving one arm of the goals. 

The “Roadmap to Zero Dengue Deaths” panel discussion noted that a multi-pronged approach is necessary to target dengue by surveillance for early detection, promoting community engagement for prevention, standardizing clinical protocols for early dengue management, and the importance of public-private partnerships and knowledge sharing across regions. 

The 7th ADS concluded that “without integrated planning, strong leadership, clear communication, and political commitment, even the best tools will remain ineffective in the fight against dengue,” and “the price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.”  

The 8th ADS will be in the Philippines. Dr. Maria Rosario Capeding, a pediatrician at the Research Institute of Tropical Medical, Manila accepted the responsibility with Prof. Edillo committing to assist her.

by Francis E. Edillo, Ph.D., Department of Biology

This entry was posted in Events and Updates, Research and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.