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OIE Director General keynote speaker at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2013

A world united against infectious diseases: cross-sectoral solutions

Bangkok, February 2nd 2013 – Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) delivered a keynote speech on behalf of the Tripartite alliance formed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the OIE at the prestigious Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2013 held in Bangkok, Thailand on January 28th-2nd February 2013.

This year’s Conference focused on sharing information and debating on: “A world united against infectious disease: cross-sectoral solutions.” Speaking on behalf of the tripartite alliance Dr Vallat advocated for more active cross-sectoral collaboration and coordination at the national, regional and international levels.

In the context of globalisation in movement of people, goods and animals, points of contacts between the humans, animals and ecosystems are more numerous than ever before, creating as many opportunities for global spread of infectious diseases.

Since over 60% human pathogens originate from animals, taking action to thwart potential bio hazards is best done by more actively preventing and managing infectious diseases at animal source.

Dr Vallat notably said that: “It is surprising to see that many countries mainly spend scarce resources on the treatment of human infections, and neglect investing a portion of their budget on the cheaper prevention of zoonotic disease in the animal source.” He also warned that animal pathogens could be used as bio-weapons.

The Prince Mahidol Award Foundation was established in 1992 to commemorate the Centenary Anniversary of HRH's Birthday. The Prince Mahidol Award is conferred annually by His Majesty the King of Thailand to individual(s) or institution(s) for outstanding performance and/or research that has a global impact in the field of medicine and public health.

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