International Research & Innovations Symposium on Dengue Amidst the Pandemic: Improving preparedness and response for multi-hazard scenarios - 2022

Dilanthi Amaratunga (Editor), Richard Haigh (Editor), Thushara Kamalrathne (Editor), Sudath Samaraweera (Editor), Nimalka Pannila Hetti (Editor), Shilanthi Seneviratne (Editor), Lahiru Kodituwakku (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Recent events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted the importance of improving the performance of health systems in combination with other disaster preparedness and response mechanisms. The impact of the pandemic reflects changes in our lifestyles and society. This has meant that hazards are spread throughout communities, societies, and economies in complex ways, which contribute to systemic and cascading risks. The impact of COVID-19 has also had a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged groups, including people in poverty and those with underlying health conditions.

COVID-19 has also overwhelmed health systems and caused widespread social & economic disruption. Government and non-governmental agencies are already stretched trying to manage the COVID-19 response, but how would they cope if other natural or biological hazards occurred concurrently?

For example, dengue is one of the communicable diseases that incurs a high disease burden. Alongside the COVID 19 pandemic, control of dengue has also become more challenging. These challenges include co-existence of both diseases with similar clinical features during the early stages. They also include hesitancies among the public to seek medical care and barriers in premise inspection and source reduction campaigns due to fear in contracting COVID 19.

Similarly, the recent COVID-19 response has resulted in a shift of priorities, alterations in work processes and venues (home office), physical distancing, self-isolation and quarantine measures, as well as temporary lockdowns of entire communities. This may create ambiguity or confusion with regards to tsunami warning services and response actions like evacuation, under co-existing COVID-19 protocols.

In order to address such challenges, there is a need for better stakeholder participation and to share research evidence, best practices, and innovations, and develop competencies among all health professionals and other key stakeholders. These will help support the translation of research evidence into practice that can enhance preparedness and response for multi-hazard scenarios.

With this backdrop, this high-level, international symposium will debate and discuss: the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and other communicable diseases, such as dengue and malaria; their role as part of overall multi-hazard scenarios, integrating both natural biological hazards; opportunities for pandemic preparedness, and response to make better use of the existing infrastructure and early warning protocols; and, multi-stakeholder approaches to collectively examine impacts, coordinate health, social, and economic measures, share practices and to learn lessons.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherGlobal Disaster Resilience Centre
Number of pages234
ISBN (Print)9786245719426
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2022
EventInternational Research and Innovation Symposium on Dengue amidst the Pandemic - Colombo, Sri Lanka
Duration: 16 Mar 202217 Mar 2022

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