According to a statement issued by the health organization, it is necessary to address emerging and re-emerging arboviruses with epidemic and pandemic potential, as well as the creation of a coalition of partners to strengthen coordination, communication, research and response to these diseases.
“Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika are current public health threats in tropical and subtropical areas, where approximately 3.9 billion people live,” the WHO warned.
It also highlighted the frequency and magnitude of outbreaks of these diseases, especially those transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, driven by the convergence of ecological, economic and social factors.
The Director of WHO’s Department of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases, Sylvie Briand, explained that the next pandemic may be an arbovirus.
Regarding the initiative, the executive director of the organization’s Emergencies Program, Michael Ryan, pointed out that “providing an effective response means being quick and agile”.
WHO Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage and Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases, Minghui Ren, said that the more human populations increase, the more alarming the threat of arboviruses becomes.
The Global Arbovirus Initiative will involve collaboration between the Global Health Emergencies Program, the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases and the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals.