International Health Organization Official Praises Cuba Dengue Control Strategy

Havana, Cuba, Aug 14.- The coordinator of the Neglected Tropical Transmissible Diseases with the Pan-American and World Helath Organizations, Guatemalan Luis Gerardo Castellanos praised in Havana the Cuban experience in vector control and the island’s strengths in the field, which helps the international organization take that practice to other nations.

In statements to the Cuban News Agency, Castellanos said that Dengue, a disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, has recently affected over 1.5 million people in The Americas, though the number of fatal cases has decreased.

Dengue is a global health issue at present, said the expert and stressed the need for community participation to achieve appropriate preventive measures against a disease, which is difficult to treat. He said that although vaccine projects are under studies, an effective injectable drug will not be on the market till 2017.

Castellanos is attending the 13 International Course on Dengue Control, underway till August 23 at Havana’s Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute. He said the Cuban institution is collaborating with the Pan-American and World Health Organizations not only on the dengue issue, but also in ways to fight other conditions such as Leptospirosis, T.B., Leprosy and HIV-Aids.

Meanwhile, Cuba’s first deputy health minister Jose Angel Portal stressed the significance of the subjects on the event’s agenda related to the current epidemiological reality, Dengue prevention control methods and surveillance, the fight on Dengue-transmitting mosquito and the impact by climate change on the propagation of the disease.

The Cuban government official said the international course will allow considering the strengthening of capacities in Latin America and other regions of the world to deal with any emerging dengue epidemic in the world. (ACN)

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