This is the fifth post in a blog mini-series from the Dengue Vaccine Initiative about the collaborative work being done to ensure future access to dengue vaccines in developing nations.

In order to facilitate the uptake of a future dengue vaccine, policy makers and opinion leaders must be convinced of the magnitude of the disease burden, as well as the value of a dengue vaccine. To create this enabling policy environment, DVI has enlisted the help of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Sabin brings expertise in advocating prevention and control of NTDs and introduction of numerous vaccines. The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases and the Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts (PACE), both projects of Sabin, have had notable success against lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and pneumococcal disease.

Sabin leads DVI’s coalition-building, advocacy and communications efforts. Among Sabin’s many contributions is the design and development of the DVI website. Intended to be a vital source of information for stakeholders, policymakers and members of the media, the DVI website is regularly updated with the latest developments in dengue and dengue vaccines. In an effort to raise awareness among the community at large, DVI circulates newsletters about recent DVI news and events, publishes op-ed pieces focusing on the need for a dengue vaccine and presents dengue findings and developments at various conferences.

Sabin also provides advocacy training to the two regional Dengue Prevention Boards – one for the Americas and one for Asia – that were established in 2007 by the PDVI. The Boards meet bi-annually and are made up of medical and public health experts, as well as opinion leaders and policy makers from countries in their respective regions. During their meetings, members address key issues, share information, make recommendations concerning best practices, and advocate for dengue vaccine introduction. In addition to advocacy training, Sabin provides advocacy packages for politicians and decision makers, including power points and talking points, and briefing packets for media. Advocacy activities are essential to changing perceptions about dengue, creating demand for vaccines and influencing policies and budget decisions. All reports from the Dengue Prevention Boards are published under the resource page of the DVI website.

Sabin’s advocacy and communication efforts are critical to raising awareness and generating consensus at all levels about the dire need for a dengue vaccine. By creating an enabling policy environment, DVI can help ensure the swift introduction of a future dengue vaccine.