Interview- Carlos de Salas Salazar
Carlos de Salas: âIn addition to teaching, University should make the researches that the country needsâ
Carlos de Salas SalazarÂ is a veterinary professional from Lima (Peru). He takes a lifetime dedicated to research and teaching in the field of health. Among his resume we can find his stint as Executive Director of Veterinary Public Health Laboratories or as Director General of Environmental Health at the Ministry of Public Health of Peru. Salas has also been president of the Peruvian Academy of Veterinary Sciences, activity which he combined with teaching at the Faculty of Veterinary Science South University, where he teaches still today. Extensive experience marked by professionalism and good work that has helped the development of research to improve human health and welfare.
- Can you summarize your career?
I finished studies at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, and I started working at the National Institute of Health that was where I did my thesis, which won a prize, and the Director General of the Institute invited me to work as an assistant in the Production Laboratory of Rabies Vaccines for human and veterinary use. Over the years I worked my way up to Head of Laboratory, Head of the Division of Human Biological Production, Executive Director of Veterinary Public Health Laboratories. And then in the Ministry of Public Health as Director General of Environmental Health, and I finished there as Secretary General of the Ministry.
- With his experience you will certainly have lived positives things, what would you highlight?
Create the first batches of rabies vaccine in cell cultures and the first batch of pertussis vaccine.
- And with what difficulties you have been encountered?
I have found especially with bureaucratic difficulties. For example, several committees were appointed in the Ministry of Health to shorten the scheme of human rabies vaccination, from fourteen to seven doses, having done their laboratory tests, we showed high levels to the Ministry and we had no response. Came to visit the Director of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, we show the work done and when he visited the Minister of Health, he presented the study about rabies. 24 hours after the resolution was authorized.
- With his experience you should know very well the diseases affecting Peru. What are currently the major infectious and nutritional diseases affecting different areas (coast, mountain and jungle)?
In the mountain and jungle, mainly chronic malnutrition and anemia in children, also the gastroenteric parasitic diseases, including cysticercosis and hydatid disease in adults. On the coast diseases they are varied.
- Are there significant differences among the most common diseases of years and current?
They are almost the same with the difference that TB incidence was highest at that time. Now it has declined but there are cases of chemoresistant tuberculosis.
- If there are changes. Why do you think they have been provoked?
The lack of concern of governments. In the ancestor government had won on indicators such as tuberculosis and anemia in children and in adults, but in recent years this has been lost.
- Zika virus was an emerging disease that has spread to different continents in recent years, especially in America, how is in this moment the disease in your country?
In Peru, it was known about the epidemics by the arrival of several from Caribbean and tropics, beginning the state to fumigate the entire north coast to Lima and make health education nationwide. We received three viruses, Chicunguya first, then the Zica and subsequently Dengue was the most dangerous. As it hadnât previously lodged an epidemic of this kind, specialized doctors from countries that always suffer these epidemics were brought. In Peru happily were only isolated cases, most imported cases, especially those of Dengue hemorrhagic fever that caused some deaths. Today the problem is over.
- Do you think that from the administrations these diseases are properly treated?
I think so. Here in Peru it is mainly made parallel health education and spraying insecticides in all feasible breeding places of mosquitoes.
- More research is needed to overcome these diseases?
I think so, especially in Dengue hemorrhagic, by the percentage of mortality it causes.
- Let’s talk about Ebola, a disease that had a great impact in Africa and also a great media impact in Europe what do you think of the treatment and outcome of this disease?
I only know what is written, which it is transmitted from person to person and that mortality is very high as transmissibility or contagion. Here, fortunately, it did not come.
- You have worked in the manufacture of vaccines, have you had any of their significance in the World Health Organization programs?
In the Pan American Health Organization, regional body of the World Health Organization.
I went to a RIMSA (Meeting Inter Ministerial Animal Health) on behalf of the Minister of Health and I presented a work that was approved by CEPANZO (Pan American Zoonosis) and several countries in which we worked to see the possibility of changing the reference vaccine that was used for testing control rabies vaccine in suckling mouse brain, rabbit brain vaccine, a reference vaccine in suckling mouse brain (species- organ -specific).
- Vaccines are a key to the health of the population but there are many detractors element What would you say?
Read scientific papers and not newspaper articles.
- Some of the diseases outlined above, such as Ebola, spread even having a vaccine, which was not approved and therefore was not applied. Why it was not approved?
I do not know. Surely the vaccine did not pass some of the tests of control.
- You’ve also been president of the Peruvian Academy of Veterinary Sciences, How Is nowadays this academy?
The Peruvian Academy of Veterinary Sciences, was founded in 1998 and had in its ranks with characters of high scientific and managerial level. With the passage of time these people were dying and joining younger people who have not understood what an honor it is to belong to an Academy.
- How do you see the overall status and functions of the Academies of Veterinary Sciences?
The general status and functions of the Academy are good. What is lacking is work and attendance of a part of academics in the activities of the Academy.
- As professor of UCSUR, How do you assess the situation of veterinary studies?
In EDUCAVET, which has been in Peru with the presence of foreign distinguished experts, it was agreed to go to the homogenization of all resumes study of National Colleges with International.
Regarding the Scientific University of the South, this was the first, and still do not know if the one, which has been accredited in the country and this accreditation requires a modern and higher education developments in education.
- What has been the evolution of these studies from the last 10 years?
True evolution will be when all the Faculties of Veterinary comply with the recommendations of the EDUCAVET that have been made.
- What are the future challenges to ensure qualified professionals?
In addition to the previous answer, it is important related to educational levels and the physical facilities of universities.
- How does teaching and research?
That is one of the main things of the University. Besides the level of teacher research, the univserity have to done the researches that the country needs and this requires teachers full time.
- Do you think you can balance?
- What would you say to future veterinarians?
The same I say in class students, that they have to study, it is a difficult career and that regular or poor students will not become professionals.
- Some questions of personal field to end the interview. His Favourite Song?
The slow and romantic songs.
- Your favourite book?
Coincidentally I’m reading a book by a Spanish author, veterinarian, called Gonzalo Giner, whose first book, which was a hit was titled “The healer of horses,” I am currently reading, slowly for lack of time, “Rider of Silence “.
- Your favourite place from Peru?
I like the mountains for fresh air, smell of damp earth and also typical food is delicious.
- What would take to a desert island?
All that could be useful to me.