WHO's Southeast Asian health ministers adopt plan to eradicate mosquito-borne diseases

Health ministers from the World Health Organization's South-East Asia region adopted a plan on Tuesday to control and eliminate mosquito and tick-borne diseases.

The plan, established as the Dhaka Declaration during a meeting of the 11 health ministers in Dhaka, calls for an interdisciplinary approach to reducing vector-borne diseases by training vector control teams to improve national capacity and by increasing surveillance, as well as strengthening national databases and developing data-sharing tools.

Governments across the globe have struggled to combat a number of mosquito- and tick-borne diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, lymphatic filariasis and black fever.

Of the world population vulnerable to dengue, 52 percent live in the region, which is comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the WHO regional director for South-East Asia, said modern health must be addressed using a modern approach, adding that superficial fixes will not help countries overcome disease.