Annual Liaison Council of the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge
The Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) held its annual Liaison Council under the presidency of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Professor MAM Bunheng and in presence of Mr Fernando Arenzana-Seisdedo, Director of International Affairs of Institut Pasteur (Paris), on May 23, 2023. On this occasion Professor André Spiegel, Director of IPC exposed the results and achievements of the institute in 2022. The Liaison Council took place in person in the meeting room of the Institute.
Permanent members of the Liaison Council are representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Secretary of State of Ministry of Health, His Excellency the French Ambassador, the rector of the University of Health Sciences, the rector of the Royal University of Agriculture, the Director of International Affairs of Institut Pasteur, representatives of World Health Organization (WHO) and of UNICEF.
Invited members are, the Scientific and Academic Cooperation of French Embassy in Cambodia, the General Director of Calmette Hospital, the Director of Kantha Bopha Foundation, other Cambodian health institutions and Universities (RUPP, ITC, UP, IRD, FAO Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD-French Development Agency) and of several international partners.
Prof. André Spiegel, Director of Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Dr Ly Sowath, Deputy Director of IPC, and M. Christophe Mousset, Administration and Finance Director exposed the results and achievements in research, services to the public, training and teaching.
This year was marked by of gradual return to a normal situation after many months marked by the COVID-19 pandemic in the world and in Cambodia.
Our Institute remains very attractive with, as of 31 December 2022, 293 people of 14 nationalities working there (90% are Cambodian).
Research activities carried out in 2022 comprise the publication of 53 articles by scientists affiliated to IPC. A notable development this year regards ticks, with two projects focused on ticks: tick diversity development of veterinary entomology in Cambodia, with the Royal University of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as our main partners.
The public health activities carried out by the three IPC’s WHO reference centres included: continued monitoring of human and avian influenza viruses and COVID-19 with, in particular, the monitoring of SARS-CoV2 variants, which appeared successively in 2022, and the investigation of a human case of avian influenza (H9N2) alongside—and in support of—the MoH teams.
Post-exposure rabies management activities increased by 43 % in 2022 as compared to 2021, with the management of 63,041 patients in our 3 rabies prevention centres. The rabies risk remains high in Cambodia. Indeed, 74% of the animal tests for rabies virus at the Virology Unit were positive.
In 2022, 73 students interned at IPC. This is higher than the 55 hosted in 2021, which number was limited due to the continuing COVID-19 epidemic. Among the 2022 students, 59 were Cambodian nationals, while the others were either French, Indonesian, Thai or Columbian.
This Liaison Council made it possible to present the activities for the year 2022 and to collect the comments, opinions and advice of the members of this council on the activities of the Institute and their orientations.
This meeting was also an opportunity to recall that 2023 was the anniversary of the 70 years of presence of the Institute in Cambodia and all the members of the Council were invited to celebrate by participating in a cocktail held in the evening at the residence of the Ambassador of France.