The announcement made by the U.S. President Barack Obama establishing a Disease Detection Centre in India is “very encouraging” and would have a positive impact on public health in the whole region, according to Ali A. Mohammadi, a project leader in World Health Organisation (WHO) looking after bio-risk management.
“It is good news for the scientific community involved in public health issues. Such institutions should come to India and the WHO will be willing to assist scientists,” the Geneva-based scientist who works in the Department of International Health Regulation, WHO, said while speaking to The Hindu here on Thursday.
President Obama after his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday spoke on cooperation in the field of public health and to establish a Regional Global Disease Detection Centre in India to work in disease control and prevention.
"As a WHO scientist, I feel that we too have a responsibility to share our expertise in setting up the proposed centre. The Obama-Manmohan Singh decision will impact the public health scenario in the entire region,” Dr. Mohammadi said after his visit to the Centre for Research in Medical Entomology (CRME), a laboratory of the Indian Council of Medical Research, working in the area of vector-borne diseases.
According to Dr.Mohammadi, several countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America require sustained attention in disease control. The WHO has been suggesting to rich nations in European Union and America to accord high priority to these regions.
“The message from WHO to rich countries and donors is that if you support in improving public health scenario in developing nations, you are safeguarding yourselves from spread of diseases,” he said.
Dr.Mohammadi was in the city to participate in the ‘Second WHO-Tropical Disease Research Asian Bio-safety Training Course’ which was attended by scientists from 10 countries.
B.K. Tyagi, Director in-charge, CRME, said that five vector-borne diseases continue to be a public health hazard- malaria, lymphatic filariasis, dengue, chikungunya and Japanese Encephalitis.
“Through these training programmes, we are focusing on dissemination of knowledge among scientists and public health officials. The resultant economic loss because of widespread prevalence of diseases is an area of concern for all of us,” Dr. Tyagi opined.