Break Dengue is an initiative that was created in August 2013 to combat dengue fever – a global neglected disease that affects the most marginalized populations but can now also be found in some of the world’s wealthiest countries. A major international public health concern, the World Health Organization says that about half of the world's population is at risk from dengue. Our goal is to stop dengue in its tracks. To achieve this, we are actively seeking out some of the most successful dengue prevention initiatives from all corners of the globe so that we can help replicate them in other countries. This will lead to bringing patients closer to potential treatments and disseminating effective dengue prevention strategies. The brainchild of The Synergist, Break Dengue received seed funding from Bayer and Sanofi Pasteur. In the past six months, our initiative has grown to include partnerships with HealthMap, Fondation Mérieux, the Partnership for Dengue Control (PDC), and the America’s Health Foundation. We are currently in talks to get many other stakeholders on board, informing them about Break Dengue and our objectives.To have a positive impact, bring about change, and break down silos, we are using social media to target and connect patients, doctors, the pharmaceutical industry, R&D, non-governmental organizations, and associations at both global and local levels. Using several social media channels, each day we empower our different audiences with information on dengue prevention, the latest news on dengue fever, and provide real stories from everyday people as well as healthcare professionals who have encountered dengue. This helps us put a face to the disease and better connect with our supporters. • We have taken to Facebook to build our core audience – now 160,000 followers strong and currently averaging over 1,000 likes per day. Utilizing “boosted” posts, we quickly grew our friends and our “DengueBreakers” have grown into an army who help us spread the message and raise awareness on this neglected disease • With Pinterest we are able to target our more visual users through eyecatching and informative images • Through Google+ our search engine results are more optimized • With Twitter, we have taken a very different approach. @BreakDengue is not only focused on raising public awareness on dengue prevention, but also seeks out and has built many strategic relationships with dengue Key Opinion Leaders worldwide. These include experts from the pharmaceutical industry, certified medical professionals, healthcare analysts, educators, marketing professionals for the healthcare sector, activists, and other organizations that share our goal In December 2013, Break Dengue sent Alejandra Laiton on a journey to find real dengue stories and initiatives from around the world. She blogs about her experiences and what she learns while we share her stories with our audience on social media, hoping to inspire people, raise awareness, and strengthen our global coalition against dengue. We are also currently running the Break Dengue India Prize contest in an attempt to crowdsource dengue fever prevention methods. The contest aims to find innovative, scalable projects to roll out in India. Launched in December 2013 during TEDxGateway, the contest has received entries from individuals and organizations from all over the world. The winning initiative will be announced on March 10, 2014 via social media.
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