Location: Panama City, Panama
Dates: 19–21 February 2013
Participants: Experts from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama and US CDC; country/regional PAHO staff
Purpose: To convene the regional experts steering the project
Details: In anticipation of the potential licensure of a first dengue vaccine by 2014–2105, the PAHO initiated a project to strengthen surveillance systems so that they can generate the information necessary to define vaccina-tion strategies and to evaluate their impact. The Sabin Vaccine Institute funds the project that lasts until June 2014. Specific project objectives are to create a regional working group (RWG) that provides input to the re-gional advisory groups on dengue and immunization, to harmonize case and diagnostic definitions used in national surveillance systems, to propose a regional surveillance model, and to strengthen the regional laboratory net-work.
In addition to country/regional PAHO staff, twenty experts from seven Latin American countries and the US CDC contributed to the meeting and reached four main outcomes. First, participants unanimously agreed on the usefulness of the 2009 WHO clinical dengue definitions, but also recognized that these definitions need translat-ing for their use in epidemiological surveillance. Second, the preparation of a regional surveillance guideline was recommended as a reference to all countries. Third, a research proposal for the genotypification of the dengue viruses that circulate in the Americas was prepared. Finally, the project workplan was reviewed and the following activities scheduled. At the next meeting scheduled for May 2013, the objective is to review proposals for sur-veillance definitions and indicators.
Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, March 2013.