|“There is no veterinary public health program like this anywhere in the world”, said the Director of PAHO about PANAFTOSA|
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 27 February 2013 (PAHO/PANAFTOSA) – "There is no veterinary public health program like this anywhere in the world", said Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), upon speaking at the headquarters of the Pan American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Center (PANAFTOSA) in Rio de Janeiro, during her first official visit to Brazil.
The director of PANAFTOSA, Ottorino Cosivi, gave a presentation on the strategic guidelines for PAHO’s Program on Veterinary Public Health and on the ties between health and agriculture. Human-Animal-Environment-Food Security issues were also highlighted, as was the "from farm to table" food chain. Cosivi also spoke about the work of PANAFTOSA in the areas of food safety for human consumption and foodborne disease prevention; foot-and-mouth disease eradication in the Americas; and the strengthening of national capacities for animal health surveillance. He additionally referred to the prevention, control, and eradication of zoonoses and the prevention of emerging infectious diseases.
In this regard, Dr. Etienne recalled that the role of PAHO as a whole is to work for excellence and she urged everyone to strive to do what is best for health.
At the end of her trip, the Director planted a Brazilwood tree in PANAFTOSA’s garden to commemorate her first visit to the Center.
On her first official visit as Director of PAHO, Dr. Etienne went to Brasilia where she met with the Minister of Health of Brazil, Alexandre Padilha, and his staff on February 25 to discuss the main challenges to health in Brazil and the international health agenda, focusing particularly on South-South Cooperation, among other topics.
During her four-day stay, Dr. Etienne met with Brazilian federal government officials in Brasilia. In Rio de Janeiro she met with representatives of Fiocruz, the National Cancer Institute of Brazil, and other institutions.
PANAFTOSA is a PAHO/WHO scientific center that has done important work in foot-and-mouth disease control and eradication since it opened in 1951. In 1997, technical cooperation in zoonoses was added to its mandates, and in 2007 food safety became another area of action. PANAFTOSA-PAHO/WHO provides technical cooperation to all the member countries of PAHO in the Americas in order to improve the health of the population and promote the development of the countries.
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