Bersama Melawan Denggi initiates nation empowerment to help defeat dengue

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare today announced it has joined forces with other organisations in Malaysia including the Ministry of Health, the Malaysian Medical Association, the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society and Guardian Health & Beauty in a new united effort to support the nation to defeat dengue. Bersama Melawan Denggi (BMD) or Allied Against Dengue (AAD) was created as a non-profit multilateral organisation with the aim to empower healthcare providers, organisations and communities; and tackle dengue issue in a holistic manner from prevention to management.

The coalition will support the ambitious roadmap that the organisation has set out to achieve. Its goal of reducing the burden of dengue on society will be reached through the empowerment and engagement of 7,000 doctors (general practitioners) and pharmacists who will be involved in educating the public. This is aligned with and complements the WHO global strategy for the prevention and control, and the Malaysian government’s initiatives. Every alliance partner will leverage their core competencies and dedicate energy, funds and resources in the movement to help reduce the incidence rate of and deaths caused by dengue fever.

Stacy Wallace, General Manager of GSK Consumer Health Malaysia & Brunei said, “I’m delighted to be part of this united effort to reduce the burden of dengue on Malaysians. GSK was motivated to champion this cause as we were concerned about the escalating hazard and effects of dengue on the nation; especially our employees and their families. Whilst we have initiated Bersama Melawan Denggi, to garner bigger impact we have galvanised key forces and efforts to unite, take action and defeat dengue. At GSK, people are at the heart of what we do and we want to be part of the solution and are prepared to do the hard work.”

The launch of Bersama Melawan Denggi was officiated by the Minister of Health alongside the alliance partners who participated in a signing ceremony to affirm their commitment to the cause.

YB Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam, Minister of Health Malaysia said, “Bersama Melawan Denggi is a praise-worthy initiative which will help contribute to our efforts in educating, managing and defeating dengue in Malaysia. The Ministry of Health has put in a lot of efforts into the prevention and control of the vector-borne disease. Now with the coalition of healthcare providers, private organisations and communities’ collective expertise and resources we will be enable to achieve a bigger impact in the war against dengue.”

Dengue is the fastest-growing vector-borne infection in the world. In the last 50 years, incidence rates increased 30 times; according to the WHO. A recent estimate indicates 390 million dengue infections per year (95 percent credible interval 284–528 million) globally, of which 96 million (67–136 million) manifest clinically (with any severity of disease)[1]. The ASEAN region contributes more than 70% of this global population at risk1. In Malaysia, dengue is rife with outbreaks spreading to more areas and impacting more lives. The number of deaths caused by dengue doubled in Q1 2015 as compared to the same period in 2014, with the number in 2016 on an upward inclination.

Through a coherent nationwide education campaign on prevention and appropriate dengue fever management, the Bersama Melawan Denggi movement seeks to make a real difference to the lives of Malaysians and curb the incidence growth rate. Focused on empowerment, the public health campaign will combine preventive and control measures with awareness of dengue fever management. The coalition strategy will include:

  • Community empowerment and most importantly healthcare providers who can detect dengue fever at its onset and provide the appropriate dengue treatment quickly.
  • Integration of preventive and control activities driven by the Ministry of Health, academia and organisations with education on dengue fever management advocated through healthcare practitioners, retailers and GSK.
  • Deployment of a robust education campaign through multiple channels including digital, mainstream and social media and ground activation.

Bersama Melawan Denggi has set ambitious targets this year - engage 8,000 healthcare providers, recruit 3,000 Dengue Warriors in the community and educate 1 million Malaysians. To achieve these milestones, Bersama Melawan Denggi will roll-out a series of initiatives including train-the-trainer programmes, organized information centres through the coalition partners’ network, community education roadshows, Dengue Warrior movement through Facebook and ground activities, employee volunteers who will be part of and drive the community outreach at dengue hot spots.