January 31, 2004

Thank You France: International Plague

The PRC is probably the most problematic country when it comes to infectious diseases. It's got both a large territory and a huge population. And it's been cursed with a secretive government that is embarrassed by its public health failures which has the perverse effect of making them much worse. As diseases emerge, they often emerge in the PRC and the delay in instituting traditional public health clamp downs means that the cost and body count go much higher than is necessary, but apparently not for much longer.

The Pasteur Institute is recognized around the world as a leader in health and it will be extending that expertise into the PRC when it opens up a branch there with a mixed french and chinese staff and promises of autonomy and an institutional policy that "will respect Pasteur values" which has always put health first embarrassment second.

This is a major step towards guarding against the worrisome prospect of international plague outbreaks. It's always nice to see the french showing what they're capable of doing on the positive side. They're not all bonehead ankle biters. May they get a leadership that reflects that reality, and soon.

Posted by TMLutas at January 31, 2004 09:44 AM