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The Rising Threat: Dengue Fever in a Warmer World

By

Ayu Ariyanti

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2 minutes read

Co-author: Bhawani Singh Maurya

Sri Hartati and her son Aska, who was interviewed in the “Slowing the Spread of Dengue Fever” mini-documentary

Climate change is no longer a distant threat – its effects are being felt around the globe, with a significant impact on human health. We’re witnessing an increase in extreme weather events like heat waves, floods, and droughts, leading to premature deaths, damaged infrastructure, and strained economies. The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts a staggering USD 1.8 trillion cost on Southeast Asia’s healthcare systems by 2050 due to heat-related illnesses alone. Furthermore, 90% of global deaths from tropical storms occur in Asia, a region with a high concentration of people living in low-lying coastal areas.

But perhaps the most concerning consequence of climate change is its potential to exacerbate the spread of infectious diseases. Warmer temperatures create ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, vectors of numerous illnesses, including the mosquito-borne dengue fever.

Dengue Fever: A Pressing Public Health Crisis

Dengue fever has emerged as a major public health concern, particularly in Southeast Asia. Ten out of eleven World Health Organization (WHO) member states in this region are classified as endemic for dengue, meaning the virus is constantly present. This translates to a staggering 3.5 billion people living under the constant threat of dengue across the globe, with a staggering 1.3 billion residing specifically in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia alone, nearly 21,000 cases and 191 deaths were reported by early March 2024. Experts attribute this surge to the El Niño weather phenomenon, which creates ideal conditions for mosquito breeding.

Unfortunately, financial resources for combating dengue, particularly regarding community-based interventions, remain limited across Asia. This highlights the urgent need for intervention and increased social investment in dengue prevention and mitigation strategies.

Taking Action: Collaborative Efforts for a Healthier Future

The fight against dengue requires a multi-pronged approach involving various stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, and social investors. AVPN, a leading platform dedicated to fostering strategic investments and collaboration in social impact across Asia, plays a crucial role in this fight. We actively work with partners to highlight the importance of prevention and mitigation strategies for tackling dengue.

As part of this ongoing effort, AVPN collaborated with Takeda to co-create a compelling mini-documentary titled “Slowing the Spread of Dengue Fever.” as part of the “Healthier Together: A Path to a Better World” series. Developed in consultation with the WHO Foundation and expertly produced for us by the BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions, the mini-documentary delves into innovative approaches to prevent and manage dengue fever. It serves as a beacon of hope, showcasing the potential for collaborative efforts to create a healthier future for all.

Join the Movement: Be Part of the Solution

Dengue fever is a serious threat, but it’s not insurmountable. By raising awareness, implementing effective prevention strategies, and fostering collaboration, we can significantly reduce the burden of this disease. Explore the “Healthier Together: A Path to a Better World” series, including the “Slowing the Spread of Dengue Fever” mini-documentary, to learn more about innovative solutions and how you can contribute to the fight against dengue.

References

A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training

Author

Ayu Ariyanti

Manager, Platform at AVPN

Ayu is the Manager for Platform. She focuses on managing AVPN’s Climate Action Platform and leading the execution of projects across Asia. Before joining AVPN, Ayu worked in a government relations consulting firm, where she consulted companies on the Indonesian political and regulatory climate. Previously, she headed an advocacy project to mobilize political and public support for the issuance of a sugar-sweetened beverages tax in Indonesia. Ayu holds a Master of Public Administration degree from New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She also holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Universitas Padjadjaran, and is a licensed advocate and member of the Indonesian Bar Association. In her free time, Ayu is an avid traveler and fiction book enthusiast.

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