Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Fighting Dengue in the Philippines

Alain Bouckenooghe, Associate VP and Regional Head of Clinica R&D of Sanofi Pasteur and Joshua Nealon, Head of Epidemiology and HEOR of Sanofu Pasteur joins the Dengue Vaccine Briefing  

Dengue Prevention - For so many years, Dengue has been one of the most popular diseases in the country, and even among other countries. Just in 2013 alone, there have been 35,000 reported cases in one month here in the Philippines. Good news to all of us, dengue can now be prevented by vaccination, brought here by Sanofi Pasteur. 


How big of a burden having dengue is? Each year, there are 500,000 hospitalizations, 96M symptomatic cases, and incidence has grown 30 times in 50 years. Not to mention the medical costs that you have to shell out when suffering from the disease. In our country alone, DOH reported 204,906 cases in 2013, the highest number recorded since the establishment of the National Dengue Prevention and Control Program in 1993. More than 200,000 dengue cases were reported in the PH in 2015, and 80,000 more were reported in 2014. 

Over a 25-month clinical trials, Sanofi Pasteur studied a vaccination to prevent dengue and help control the spreading of the disease. A clinical profile was studied for safety and efficacy against all 4 dengue virus types among 40,000 people from 15 countries. Even the Philippines participated in all three phases of the clinical trials by testing at risk populations of 9-16 years old. 

With the Asia bearing 70% of the global disease burden, Sanofi Pasteur has been committed to ensuring vaccine is available first to those that live in endemic areas. 

And truly, the first dengue vaccination prevented 2 out of 3 cases of dengue, 8 out 10 hospitalizations and 9 out of 10 severe forms of dengue. This is introduced in the Philippines because it can help the public health community in dengue-endemic nations tip the balance in favor of dengue control, adding a critical line of defense to comprehensive dengue prevention efforts. 

Because of the vaccination, it will not only promote healthy nation building, but dengue endemic countries can now have a better chance of reaching the WHO objectives for reducing dengue mortality by 50% and morbidity by 25% by 2020.

The Department of Health announced on January 4, 2016 that 1M nine-year-old Filipinos enrolled in the government schools in Region 3, Region 4-A and the National Capital Region will be the first beneficiaries of the government procured dengue vaccine. 

As a game changer, a recent dengue vaccine cost effectiveness study performed  by Professor Hilton Lam of the UP National Institutes of Health says that a nationwide annual routine vaccination of nine-year olds starting in 2016 would lead to an estimated 24.2% reduction in dengue cases in the country over a five year period. This would translate to 775,053 avoided cases of dengue, 502,000 avoided hospitalizations, 22,010 avoided deaths and almost PHP21 Billion in avoided cost to society. 

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