“We share the virus and mosquitos, let’s also share our data”

Over 30 clinicians, researchers from within the multi-disciplinary dengue fever community, public health officials and NREN representatives from across the Asia-Pacific gathered  last January during APAN41 in Manila to share experiences and best practices and to exchange ideas around how to manage, prevent and fight this infectious tropical disease.

Now in its third edition, the joint TEIN/APAN Dengue Fever and Public Health Workshop saw lively interaction and enthusiasm within the medical community to join forces with NRENs and thus to make a difference. “We share the virus and mosquitos, let’s also share our data”: this statement of Dr Raul Destura from the National Institute of Health-University of the Philippines in Manila – a passionate champion of this cooperation – encapsulates the very essence of the workshop.

The driving force behind this initiative, Prof. Francis Lee Bu Sung, President of SingAREN and Chair of Governors of TEIN*CC, commented: “We have come a long way since we set out back in 2014. There is now a much better understanding among the dengue fever research community as to what our networks can bring to the table. Not just in terms on supporting videoconferencing for clinical case discussions and capacity building, but there are now plans to develop a digital platform for data exchange and to work towards a regional outbreak prediction model. This is computationally intensive stuff, which requires good connectivity and therefore our networks!”

Workshop co-chair Helga Spitaler from GÉANT added: “With global travel and climate change the infection corridor across the world map is widening. Dengue fever and other viruses are no longer confined to endemic regions. We see an increased need to also engage with the infectious diseases research community here in Europe. The Zika outbreak has certainly hammered it home.”

To view the workshop agenda and presentations visit https://master.apan.net/meetings/Manila2016/Sessions/session.php?id=72

Published: 02/2016

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