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The Future Health Threats Initiative 2017

An integrated approach to Public Health Security 

On the 9th of January, 2017, the Praesens Foundation convened its first meeting at the Bibliothèque Solvay in Brussels, to launch the Future Health Threats Initiative (FHTI). Its Founder, Dr. Rudi Pauwels, opened the first session on laboratory capacity building, with an introduction covering his experience in the field and introducing the background to the founding of Praesens Foundation. Following upon his highly insightful introduction, Keynote for the event Prof. dr. Peter Piot, the co-discoverer of Ebola virus, presented his distinguished experience on the discovery of Ebola virus, emerging and re-emerging disease and the future risk to global public health.

With a focus on best practices for countering emergency disease outbreaks and review of international collaborative efforts to contain public health threats, the meeting brought together experts from various international health institutes, academia, the medical defence community, NGO’s and private industry. The concept of the program and idea to convene an expert group, developed from the general observation, that while public health is now considered by many nations to be a national security issue, and while the international community brings considerable and highly advanced technical means to counter emergency health events to the table, coordination, which lies at the core of containment, remains an international challenge.

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