50 years in the fight against infectious diseases 1967 – 2017

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The 5th IDEA Conference in Asia, organized by the Mérieux Foundation, focuses on cholera

March 20, 2017 - Vientiane (Laos)

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The 5th meeting of the Initiative against Diarrheal and Enteric diseases in Asia (IDEA) was held from March 6 to 9, 2017 in Hanoi (Vietnam).

The 5th IDEA Conference in Asia, organized by the Mérieux Foundation, focuses on cholera

This IDEA conference, focusing on the prevention and control of cholera epidemics, is organized by the Mérieux Foundation, with the support of the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), which reports to the Vietnamese health ministry.

The current cholera situation in Asia was discussed by 50 participants, mainly representatives of the health ministries of 10 Asian countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) and of partner international organizations1.

Aim: to fight predictable epidemics and reduce the burden of cholera

The participants presented the current cholera situation in their various countries, with a view to gaining a better understanding of how to prevent and control this disease. The organization representatives presented the various activities implemented to fight cholera.

The goal of this IDEA meeting was to provide an update on the expectations of the health ministries and on actions proposed by partners. The aim is to fight predictable cholera epidemics, not only through emergency action, but also by building preventive strategies.

This conference served to bring together the partners involved in cholera prevention at world, regional and national levels. A report of the workshop’s conclusions will be published shortly.

Fighting cholera, a disease that causes between 100,000 and 120,000 deaths per year

Launched in 2011, IDEA brings together a multidisciplinary, multinational and independent group of healthcare professionals involved in cholera control and prevention, both in Africa and Asia. IDEA works in close collaboration with the World Health Organization’s Global Task Force for Cholera Control (GTFCC) and with UNICEF, in the context of their global strategy for the reduction of cholera-related deaths worldwide.

This initiative is based on field expertise federating national and international actions and creating multi-sector synergies by organizing workshops in Africa and Asia. The two workshops held in 2015, in India (March 30 – April 2) and Benin (October 5 – 9) respectively gave rise to the “Delhi Declaration” and the “Cotonou Declaration” – advocacy documents aimed at opinion-leaders, institutions and local and national organizations.

The global aim of IDEA, hosted by the Mérieux Foundation and supported by Valneva, bioMérieux and Sanofi Pasteur, is to contribute to the effective control, prevention and eradication of cholera and other enteric diseases, by helping countries develop national action plans. Cholera remains one of the major public health issues, causing between 100,000 and 120,000 deaths each year, particularly in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

View the presentations by the speakers

Download the report

1 These organizations are: the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Save the Children NGO, the PATH NGO, the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), the Global Task Force for Cholera control (GTFCC) hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the DOVE project (Delivering Oral Vaccine Effectively), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reporting to the US Department of Health and Social Services, the Agence de Médecine Préventive (preventive medicine agency) and the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), reporting to the Indian government.

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