"ONE HEALTH - TOWARDS A UNIQUE HEALTH"
The Pharo’s Days (French. Les journées du Pharo)
Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Division of Biomedical Graduate Research Organization
School of Medicine, Georgetown University
|Figure 1: Meeting flyer.|
Jean-Paul Gonzalez was invited as Keynote Speaker and gave a One Health presentation, entitled “Toward One Health, Back to the future,” illustrating the historical dimension of the concept and use of the One Health approach for understanding disease emergence as a clear and present danger.
As part of the annual “Pharo’s Days” meeting, a Tropical Medicine and Health Conference on "One Health - Towards a Unique Health" was held in Marseille, France in October 2019 (Figure 1). This was one of the important “One Health” meetings (certainly unique in Europe) focusing on “One Health and Tropical Medicine”. This event was like a "homecoming to the sources" by returning to the original site of the Army Health Service Institute of Tropical Medicine within its historic site "the school of Pharo." Thus the 25th symposium of the “Days of Pharo” has found the walls that had sheltered the school since 1994 on this unique site of the Palais du Pharo (The Pharo Palace). Indeed, the Palais lies between Marseille Old Harbor and facing the islands of Frioul, where the clifftop quarter dominated by the Palace, built as a residence for Napoleon III, and today, a conference center managed by Aix Marseille University (AMU).
For this return on the Pharo School site, the AMU reception was warm and respectful of the past. This more than a century-old School, honored at the time by the CDC of Atlanta, highlights the remarkable work of French military doctors in the eradication of smallpox. Thanks to the efforts of the Intervention Group in Public Health and Epidemiology (www.gispe.org) and the support of the AMU Vice-President Board of Directors, the conference was held in these places steeped in history. During the opening ceremony, the Vice President shared profound words about the commitment that the AMU owes to the Pharo School and to those who keep the spirit of medicine overseas when practicing Tropical Medicine.
The One Health theme brought together experts from the medical, veterinary and environmental sciences. It started at the Gastaut amphitheater [1915-1995. Namesd for biologist and medical doctor whose most important research concerned electroencephalography and epilepsy, allowed the detail of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome] with a very moving speech from Professor Marc Gentilini [Presently Emeritus Professor of Infectious and Tropical Diseases Paris University, Honorary President of the Academy of Medicine and Honorary National President of the French Red Cross] about Pr. Guy Charmot [1914-2019 - Eminent epidemiologist and expert in tropical medicine who served with the Free French forces during World War II. He was made a Companion of Liberation by General de Gaulle during the Italian campaign of 1944] who recently passed away, then by the plea of Dr. Claude Dumurgier [Surgeon, affiliated French researcher with the Royal University of Phnom Pen, Cambodia, who actively participates in the global campaign to eradicate obstetric fistulas] for the Surgery against Poverty to resume its place as a health intervention.
More than 170 health professionals attended the meeting, including visitors from the Americas, the Indian Ocean, and seventeen different countries in Africa. The first day opened with a series of invited conferences within the framework of "One Health" and an inaugural lecture given by Professor Jean-Paul Gonzalez (Georgetown University) presented how the stakes for the global health of mankind lies in a "One Health" approach.
The second and third day all scientific debates took place in the Alexander Yersin amphitheater which was originally named after the Swiss-naturalized French physician who funded the first Pasteur Institute in Vietnam and co-discovered the bubonic plague inducing bacillus Yersinia pestis. Later, the amphitheater was renovated and renamed the Jean-Etienne Touze amphitheater in March 2019 after the French Military Physician and Cardiologist Jean-Etienne Touze. Nearly forty guest speakers and free papers were presented. The session of the College of Academics of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (CMIT) was the opportunity to present the current major topics of Tropical Medicine from the more familiar malaria and cholera to other obscure tropical viral diseases.
These information filled days ended by awarding prizes including the best theses of French speaking universities, the best field work carried out in the Tropics, and to a research team from Côte d'Ivoire for its poster and results on human and animal trypanosomes. The 2020 26th edition of the Pharo Journeys will be dedicated to "Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Countries of the South". The entire program and communications are available on the website: http://www.gispe.org/html/actus2019.html. Direct access to the Abstracts.