Sponsored By: EON – The stakeholder relations group

Winner: GSK Consumer Healthcare: Allied Against Dengue

Dengue is the world’s fastest-growing vector-borne disease and is rife in 100 countries, particularly tropical countries. More than half a million people require hospitalisation every year and 12,500 die. Dengue is endemic in Southeast Asia and is a huge burden on healthcare and the economy.

GSK Consumer Healthcare initiated the ‘Allied Against Dengue’ (AAD) campaign to galvanise public and private institutions to unite, take action and defeat the disease in Southeast Asia. It aims to connect efforts, fill gaps and unite key stakeholders such as healthcare providers, pharmacists, customers, media, government and health authorities, employees and non-governmental organisations.

AAD’s overarching strategy stemmed from the critical insight that there was a knowledge gap in dengue management, and efforts to combat the disease were carried out in silo. As such, GSK focused its strategy on bridging the gap and driving private-public partnerships under three action pillars — engage, empower, educate.

AAD conducted a regional survey involving more than 3,000 respondents aged 18 and above. The survey uncovered alarming results about the lack of knowledge in the region, which validated the need for public education. In particular it showed that more than 70 percent wrongly believed there was a cure for dengue. Some 63 percent were unaware that paracetamol is the only recommended medication for the management of dengue fever, as stated by the World Health Organisation.

Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia were identified as the key dengue hot spots in the region, where the disease was fast-spreading and fatalities were increasing, so the first campaign was piloted there in 2016.

AAD created unprecedented partnerships with 18 key stakeholders including governments (Ministry of Health), expert groups and five of the biggest pharmacy chains in Malaysia (Guardian Health & Beauty chain, Caring and Apex Pharmacy) and the Philippines (Mercury Drug chain and Watsons).

AAD empowered healthcare providers, organisations, industry partners and communities, equipping them with the knowledge and resources to reduce the impact of dengue on society. Through supporting healthcare professionals’ communications with patients, they were better educated on disease prevention, control and management.

AAD held train-the-trainer workshops in many cities across Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia for physicians and pharmacists, refreshing their knowledge on the virus and its symptoms, and providing new information that could be used for public education.

AAD spearheaded a Dengue Warriors recruitment programme, where a team of  individuals was recruited through roadshows, Facebook and school outreach. They helped to promote public education on dengue and effect positive social changes within their families and residential areas.

AAD had a big impact on community empowerment through a mass ‘Walk & Clean’ activity to spot, tag and clean mosquito breeding hotspots across five states in Malaysia. In September 2017, AAD organised a Run in Malaysia to galvanise the fight against dengue. The Run brought together local communities to demonstrate the strength of collaboration.

AAD developed Dengue Proficiency Kits for care givers and healthcare professionals. These information leaflets, distributed through pharmacies and city hot spots, provided information on the signs and symptoms of dengue and how to treat it.

AAD Homecare Kits were also given to community outreach trainers. These included dengue materials, thermometers, mosquito patches and branded teddy bears for bed rest.

In less than 18 months AAD successfully empowered the community to fight dengue, identifying knowledge gaps and providing resources to the public to help manage the disease. GSK saw the fruits of its efforts through increased public awareness and declining mortality and morbidity rates.


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