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Health Authorities from the Chilean and US Army Visited the Institute of Public Health (ISP) Facilities

| April 30, 2018

Chilean Institute of Public Health (ISP) —

In the framework of the 120 anniversary of the Veterinary Service of the Army of Chile, on Friday, April 20, the authorities of the Directorate of Health, together with the Veterinary Corps of the Southern Command of the US Army, visited the premises of the Institute of Public Health of Chile (ISP) to discuss prevention and control of diseases in the context of vector transmission.

In the first instance, the Director(s) of the ISP Dr. Judith Mora was in charge, together with T.M. María Isabel Jercic, Head of Parasitology Section of the ISP, to receive the authorities of the Chilean Army and the USA:  Major Alexander Betzhold - Veterinary Planning Adviser, Lt. Col. Patricio Cárdenas -Environmental Health and Animal Advisor, Lieutenant Colonel Eric Lombardini (U.S. Army) - Veterinary Pathologist, Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Clark (U.S. Army) - Entomologist, Lieutenant Colonel Jessica Cowden (U.S. Air Force) - Infectious Disease, Major Cristian Bonilla (U.S. Army) - Preventive Medicine, Captain Torres - Interpreter and SGM Araiza – Interpreter.

Subsequently, the biologist Christian González, in charge of the Medical Entomology laboratory made a presentation about the activities, projections and challenges of this laboratory. The professional emphasized the confrontation of the diagnosis of vector species of medical importance, such as mosquitoes and kissers, among which the reintroduction of Aedes aegypti to continental Chile and the presence of wild outbreaks of Triatoma infestans.

 

In addition, the delegation was directed to the dependencies of the Entomology laboratory to learn more about the collections of samples and the work processes of the team belonging to the Parasitology Section of the Institute.

 

It should be noted that on December 23, 2016, a Collaboration Agreement was signed between the Undersecretary of Public Health and the Directorate of Health of the Chilean Army, with the aim of strengthening coordination and collaboration between the two institutions in matters of surveillance, prevention and control of zoonotic diseases or zoonotic potential.

 

The above, through the implementation of joint training activities, exchange of expertise and integration of vector and reservoir monitoring systems that make parts of an early warning and rapid response system for the control of reservoirs or vectors of health interest.

 

The objective is to prevent diseases that are processed from animals to man and vice versa (zoonoses), as well as diseases transmitted by arthropod vectors, which compromise public health and endanger the quality of life of people. For this reason, it is necessary to maintain active, permanent surveillance systems on the reservoirs and vectors of these diseases, in order to control the spread of these diseases and prevent outbreaks of diseases.

 

The Directorate of Health of the Army through the Veterinary Service must jointly coordinate the collaboration and support activities that the Ministry of Health providers in the area of reservoir and vector control in situations of emergencies and catastrophes.