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How To Beat Rising Dengue Threats Caused by Climate Change

In Jakarta, a sprawling megacity of 14 million people, there is growing concern over the threat of dengue fever. Climate change is altering rainfall and temperature patterns. When combined with challenges of urbanization, like poor drainage, this creates the perfect conditions for increasing the incidence of vector-borne disease.

“Dengue fever, which affects 50 to 100 million people across the globe in an average year is one of the diseases that is newly emerging, re-surging, and re-distributing on a global scale,” said Dr. Paul Epstein, a public health expert, in a documentary supported by The Rockefeller Foundation focused on building climate change resilience in cities.

Hospitals are dealing with more and more cases and conventional protocols for monitoring and managing them under increasing strain. To tackle this, the documentary shows how the Indonesian government has put together an emergency system to halt the spread of dengue by sending jumantiks, community-led groups, who checks their neighborhood for larvae that could potentially grow into fully-fledged dengue mosquitoes.

For more information, a recent article explores how climate change is creating unique public health challenges that are going to impact communities in the developing world and how we can build health systems that are more responsive, flexible, and ultimately resilient. It also highlights examples of how cities in Surat, India; Semarang, Indonesia; and Can Tho, Vietnam are tackling dengue fever cases through the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN).

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