Welcome to Panama

Welcome to Panama!

​​​​​​​On April 24th, Ivette Berrio, Vice Minister of Health of Panama, signed a letter of intent for Panama to join the PREZODE International Initiative, becoming its 26th member country.

The office of the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization in Panama will also sign the PREZODE initiative through its representative, Dr. Ana Rivière Cinnamond.

The event took place during a ceremony organized by the Embassy of France in Panama, together with the Ciudad del Saber Foundation, the Pasteur Network, the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), and the PREZODE initiative. It followed a Franco-Panamanian scientific conference " Fighting against infectious and tropical diseases: between historical legacy and global challenges " at the Convention Center of the Ciudad del Saber.

Ivette Berrio, Vice Minister of Health of Panama, Aude de Amorim, Ambassador of France, Oscar Ceville, Pasteur Network, Jorge Arosemena, Ciudad del Saber Foundation, and Claudine Chamoreau, IRD representative in Mexico, Central America, Cuba, and Haiti, welcomed the participants during the opening ceremony,

Signature de panama avril 2024
Zohra Abaakouk (PAHO-WHO, left) and Ivette Berrio, Panama Vice Minister of Health of Panama signed the letter of intent of PREZODE on the 24th of April.


High-level international panelists discussed future perspectives on the emergence of new zoonotic diseases and ways to combat them in the course of two roundtables.

Under the title: "Historical Perspective: Construction of the Panama Canal and Yellow Fever Epidemic.”, the first roundtable recalled the historic integration of health considerations into the construction of the Panama Canal. Engineers and doctors worked together to prevent and contain epidemics after many workers had suffered from yellow fever. This historic integration of health considerations into infrastructure development has become a model for effective public health measures. Issac Carranza, Canal de Panama, Jorge Madrano, from the Ministry of Health, Guillermo Castro, Ciudad del Saber Foundation, Jose R. Loiza, INDICASAT, and Audrey Arnal, IRD, participated in the exchanges moderated by Oscar Ceville.

The One Health approach was at the heart of discussions of the second roundtable. The effective prevention of zoonotic infectious diseases relies on multidisciplinary collaboration, which combines research, education, and surveillance. Jean-Marc Gabastou, from WHO/ Pan American Health Organization, and the World Health Organization in Panama, Héctor Cedeño and Virginia Núñez Samudio, from Health ministry, Benjamin Roche, Research Director at IRD and co-founder of PREZODE, Christophe Peyrefitte, Director of Institut Pasteur of the French Guyana, emphasized the holistic approach of One Health, which considers the links between human, animal, and environmental health. Anayansi Valderrama, from the Gorgas Commemorative Institute for Health Studies, served as the moderator. Highlighting the potential risks posed by zoonotic outbreaks stemming from intensive agriculture, deforestation, climate change, and global trade, the panelists deliberated on detection and prevention strategies employing epidemiological surveillance and a comprehensive approach. The conclusion emphasised the necessity of comprehending contributing factors to devise more effective strategies.

The final session, led by Virginia Núñez Samudio, featuring Oscar Ceville, Valérie Frassati from Campus France Panama, Violeta Crumberbatch from SENACYT, Gerardo Suzan from UNAM, and Thibaud Porphyre from VetAgroSup, highlighted the potential of scientific education programs for Panamanian students in France.

Modification date: 26 April 2024 | Publication date: 25 April 2024 | By: PREZODE