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Veterinary Public Health

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The Pedro N. Acha Award for Excellence in Veterinary Public Health

"I would like to put forth the notion that the veterinary profession should serve humanity. Those who are responsible for the professional education in the veterinary sciences should grasp this idea and begin to guide our training centers to the three principal services benefiting humankind: agriculture, biology and public health. I believe that if we were to do any less, we would fail in our mission…" — Pedro Acha, D.V.M.

The health of human beings is tied to the health of animals, both domestic and wild, in many ways. Certain diseases can be transmitted, directly or indirectly, from animals to humans. Infections and parasitic diseases of livestock may kill the animals outright, may necessitate their destruction or may reduce the survivors' production of meat or milk, all of which can in turn reduce the food supply available to humans. Such diseases are also an obstacle to international trade and may become a serious financial drain on the economy of a community or country—an impact which may have broad repercussions for health in a society.

The Pedro N. Acha Award for Excellence in Veterinary Public Health, created in 1993, is one of the awards presented by the Pan American Health and Education Foundation through its Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Program, a partnership between PAHEF and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Recognizing the importance of veterinary public health to the peoples of the Americas and the economies of the countries, PAHEF established the Pedro N. Acha Award for Excellence in Veterinary Public Health. This award recognizes outstanding research based on a thesis written by an undergraduate student in veterinary public health within the last three years. It also aims to encourage dedication to the highest standards of study and professionalism.

A distinguished jury of veterinary public health professionals reviews nominations and recommends a research thesis to the board of trustees of PAHEF for final selection.

The awardee receives a cash prize, certificate of honor, and a paid trip to Washington, DC, to receive the award at the annual PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Event and is recognized before the ministers of health of the region at the PAHO Directing Council Meeting.

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