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Iraqi Minister of Health Visits NIH

On a 3-day visit to Washington, D.C., Iraq's newly appointed Minister of Health, Dr. Ala'adin Al-Alwan, visited with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and each HHS component agency, capping off his trip with an afternoon at NIH. During his visit with NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Al-Alwan discussed the urgent needs of the Iraqi people for basic health care services. Looking to the future, he identified areas of potential research cooperation. Areas for exploration include better use of the Internet to train physicians, physician-scientists and nursing personnel, and taking advantage of existing NIH modules. Enhanced training in epidemiology was another priority.

Dr. Ala'adin Al-Alwan (r), Iraqi Minister of Health, with NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni looking on, expresses appreciation for a productive set of meetings and a warm welcome.

Dr. Sharon Hrynkow, acting director of the Fogarty International Center, outlined some long-term FIC-NIH programs as well as the shorter-term programs supported by others. At an evening reception held at the Lawton Chiles International House in honor of the minister and Iraqi Ambassador-designate to the United States Rend Rahim Francke, Zerhouni praised them for their bravery in taking on the many challenges facing them as Iraqi leaders. He also pledged support on behalf of Secretary Thompson to work with the Iraqi people however possible to assist in improving the health care and research enterprise for the benefit of all.

Iraqi Ambassador-designate to the United States Rend Rahim Francke offered impassioned thanks to the American people for their great sacrifice in saving the Iraqi people.

At a recent Stone House reception are (from l) Francke; Al-Alwan; Zerhouni; Dr. Anthony Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Dr. Sharon Hrynkow, acting director, Fogarty International Center.

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