Honouring achievements in public health
MANILA, 28 May 2013 - Four public health professionals in the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region have been recognized by the Executive Board for outstanding achievements in public health. They are Dr Teng Shuzhong (China), Prof No-yai Park (Republic of Korea), Dr Wang Guiqui (China) and Dr An Dong (China).
Dr Teng Shuzhong, Director of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Fenghuang County, Hunan Province, China, received the Léon Bernard Foundation Prize for his significant contribution to health training and health-care services. Among his achievements were his efforts to stem a typhoid outbreak in the 1980s and 1990s. He oversaw the county's work plan for the prevention and treatment of typhoid, and organized epidemiological surveys and public health actions to control the epidemic. As a result, the incidence rate of typhoid in the area is at its lowest level ever.
For her outstanding innovative work in health development, Prof No-yai Park received the Sasakawa Health Prize. She helped improve health centres and education, particularly in maternal health and child-care nursing. Revered in the Republic of Korea as the “mother of public health”, she also designed a field management training programme to improve the theoretical and practical expertise of medical personnel in public centres, as well as a community health level survey system that enables communities to collect statistical information, diagnose their needs and establish health-care plans according to local priorities.
Dr Wang Guiqui received the State of Kuwait Prize for Research in Health Promotion for his significant contribution to early detection and treatment of oesophageal cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in China. Dr Wang and his colleagues provided training courses for local and volunteer health professionals. As many as 2100 health professionals from 28 provinces were trained in endoscopy, pathology, epidemiology, and treatment for early oesophageal cancer. This increased screening capacity has optimized the primary health-care system for cancer prevention and control in rural areas, including for the disadvantaged population.
For work that extended far beyond the call of duty, Dr An Dong received the Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health. Dr An Dong dedicated nearly 30 years to the prevention and control of endemic fluorosis in Ghizhou Province, China. The disease is caused by the burning of coal in open stoves without smoke extraction facilities. Indoor air and foods are polluted by fluorine-containing soot, subjecting people to excessive fluoride ingestion, which results in chronic fluoride poisoning. Dr An Dong’s efforts have been instrumental in establishing the causes of the disease and ensuring that prevention strategies were adopted.
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Mr Ruel E. Serrano
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