Health and sustainable development: challenges and opportunities of ecosystem approaches in the prevention and control of dengue and Chagas disease

Saúde e desenvolvimento sustentável: desafios e oportunidades dos enfoques ecossistêmicos na prevenção e controle do dengue e da doença de Chagas

A world of healthy people living in healthy ecosystems has proven to be an elusive goal of the sustainable development agenda. Numerous science-based assessments agree on the fundamental interdependence between people's health, the economy, and the environment, and on the urgency for more determined and concerted action based on multi-sector participatory approaches at the global and local levels. For knowledge to be policy-relevant and capable of contributing to healthy and sustainable development, it must take into account the dynamic and complex interactions between ecological and social systems (systems thinking), and it must be linked to development actions. This in turn requires greater interaction and exchange between decision-makers, researchers and civil society (a multi-stakeholder participatory process); and the harnessing of different disciplines and of different kinds of knowledge (a transdisciplinary approach). Ecosystem approaches to human health (ecohealth) link these elements in an adaptable framework for research and action. This paper presents an overview of ecohealth research approaches applied to vector-borne diseases, with particular attention to multi-stakeholder participation given its prominence in the sustainable development policy discourse.

Sustainable Development; Chagas Disease; Dengue

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