Bangladesh Ministry of Health Delegation Explores MDCH Bureau of Laboratories

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2011

LANSING - From Nov. 22-23, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Bureau of Laboratories hosted Bangladesh's Secretary of the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Mr. M. Humayun Kabir, and his accompanying delegation.

As MOHFW explores establishing a national public health laboratory system for Bangladesh, the MDCH Bureau of Laboratories demonstrated the importance and benefits of a public health laboratory system.

"Michigan's public health laboratory has a longstanding track record of not only delivering results, but also working to make sure that we address the causes of public health concerns as well," said Dr. Frances Pouch Downes, MDCH Laboratory Director. "It was wonderful hosting the delegation, and we look forward to being able to assist them as they work to develop a public health laboratory system in Bangladesh."

In 2009, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) arranged for a group, including Dr. Downes, to visit Bangladesh and assess the country's potential to support a public health laboratory system. The delegation's visit to Michigan marked another step toward implementation of this vital component of Bangladesh's health infrastructure.

"The U.S. public health laboratory network is a model disease surveillance system that has advanced in parallel with the disease investigation activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," said Ralph Timperi, Senior Advisor of Laboratory Practice & Management for APHL. "Since the 1950s, this system has been involved in international and national health issues, including polio and smallpox eradication, influenza outbreaks and SARS. The visit by the MOHFW Secretary and his delegation will provide insights into the functions, operation and management of a major U.S. public health laboratory and its role within the national laboratory system."

The Michigan public health laboratory was established in 1907. Throughout the last century, it has distinguished itself as a leader in research and provides Michigan with quality testing and services.

For more information about MOHFW, visit www.mohfw.gov.bd; MDCH Bureau of Laboratories, visit www.michigan.gov/mdchlab; and APHL, visit www.aphl.org.

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