In Brief 3

Dengue and the Vanuatu Commitment

Extracts from the Vanuatu Commitment resulting from the Seventh Meeting of the Ministers of Health for Pacific Island Countries, held in March 2007.

Dengue was identified as a major communicable disease problem in the region resulting in significant morbidity and severe economic losses, particularly for tourism. But since the last meeting of the Ministers of Health for Pacific Island Countries in 2005 in Samoa, the proposed regional dengue initiative has not materialized. The need for effective surveillance systems was recognized as a key issue related to dengue, as well as other new and emerging diseases.

There has been some success in implementing vector control for dengue. French Polynesia reported a successful programme of vector surveillance and control that had significantly reduced the impact of a recent outbreak. Australia pointed to its successes in controlling dengue in Northern Queensland, which could have implications for similar settings in the Pacific. Australia encouraged the development of a regional dengue initiative and offered to share its dengue management planning.