As many as 50 scientists and experts in dengue control from nine countries gathered at the annual meeting of the Eliminate Dengue Programme in the central province of Khanh Hoa on May 28 to exchange experience in combating this disease.

In his opening speech, Vietnamese Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the dengue outbreak is posing a great challenge to Vietnam’s public health sector, therefore the country cares deeply about the most effective preventive methods to reduce the rate of suffering and fatalities from the disease.

In Vietnam, the disease mainly occurs from July to October every year. The country recorded 100,000 dengue cases, with about 100 deaths annually in recent years, Long added.

Participants reviewed the results of research projects implemented in Vietnam, Australia and Indonesia. They also discussed plans to continue carrying out similar initiatives in the three countries and several others, including Brazil, Colombia and China.

The eliminate dengue mission is a non-profit international cooperation project between Vietnam, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, China, the UK, Singapore and the US. In Vietnam, it was started in 2006 in Khanh Hoa province’s Tri Nguyen Island.

In April last year, Vietnam became the second country in the world after Australia to have conducted trial release of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the wolbachia symbiont bacteria into nature. The bacteria are believed to prevent the dengue fever virus from replicating in the host mosquito. In addition, they can spread rapidly among Aedes aegypti mosquito population.-VNA