• With more than 50 million cases reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) each year, dengue is now regarded as the world’s most important mosquito-borne viral disease. Moreover, given that 60% of these reports are from the Americas, predominantly Latin America, dengue infection is a significant and escalating public health problem in Latin America.
  • Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare yet highly aggressive form of skin cancer which, in approximately 80% of cases, is caused by the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV). While the dangers of other skin cancers like malignant melanoma are ingrained in most physicians’ minds, MCC remains an unfamiliar and neglected disease.
  • Biomarkers have many potential applications in oncology, including risk assessment, screening, differential diagnosis, determination of prognosis, prediction of response to treatment, and monitoring of progression of disease.
  • About 16 million adolescent girls between 15 and 19 give birth each year. In low- and middle-income countries, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15 to 19. The Latin American region has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies worldwide. Teenage pregnancies in Latin America are linked to a higher incidence of maternal complications during pregnancy and delivery and children of adolescent mothers are at increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight and neonatal mortality.
  • Immuno-oncology therapies activate the immune system, making it able to recognize cancer cells and destroy them and are expected to become an important part of cancer therapy in years to come. However, the science of immuno-oncology is still evolving. Brazil is a country uniquely primed with both opportunities and strengths for clinical oncology research. Among its strengths, the country counts with growing access to information, an unfortunately high cancer burden, improving patient education, access to new drugs for research centers, regional networks and human resources.
  • In May, AHF partnered with Policy Wisdom to convene a Deliberative Dialogue Day in Sao Paulo Brazil and Bogota, Colombia to discuss the content of an evidence brief about Improving Cancer Care in Latin America (and specifically lung cancer in Colombia).
  • Despite the availability of safe, effective and relatively accessible vaccines, adult vaccination remains at a low level globally, including in Latin America, resulting in millions of adults every year suffering illness, hospitalization and even death from vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • AHF recently convened a consensus conference among expert infectologists and rheumatologists to develop recommendations on vaccination for adults with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases in Latin America. The resulting paper is currently under review for publication.
  • Following a consensus conference convened by AHF to develop treatment and care recommendations for multiple sclerosis in Central American and the Caribbean, the resulting paper, Esclerosis múltiple en América Central y el Caribe: Estado actual y recomendaciones clínicas was published this month in Revista Mexicana de Neurociencia. Click here for a link to the full article.