In order to discuss the main aspects of the Chikungunya epidemic in South America as well as the best strategies to fight the disease, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and Paraguay’s Ministry of Public Health are promoting a Workshop on Surveillance and Response specifically tailored for the issue. The event, which is supported by ISAGS, is taking place on August 26th and 27th in Asuncion and precedes the meeting of the Technical Group on Health Surveillance and Response (Surveillance TG) of the South American Health Council.
The Workshop was elaborated according to the guidelines of ISAGS’ 2014 Annual Operative Plan, and is being attended by representatives of the Surveillance TG, ISAGS and PAHO, besides Paraguay’s surveillance specialists. Experts from the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica were also invited, as these countries have a background in the fight against Chikungunya.
The lecturers presented an overview on Americas’ epidemiological situation. The official data unveiled that, up until August 22nd, 580 thousand suspected Chikungunya cases were reported in the continent, most of them in Central America. Most of the cases in South America are related to tourists visiting epidemic regions.
Paraguay’s Vice Minister of Public Health, Dr. María Teresa Barán, pointed out that, in a globalization scenario, the risks of the disease spreading more rapidly and through a greater number of countries increases.
“We’ve had an imported case in Paraguay. Nevertheless, knowledge on the disease enabled us to manage the issue correctly. Our enemy isn’t just the vector mosquito, but also the health ministries’ lack of information and preparedness on the issue”, she affirmed.