Home » 90 years of the Higher Institute of Health. Bellantone: “Universal service, we focus on prevention to free up resources”

90 years of the Higher Institute of Health. Bellantone: “Universal service, we focus on prevention to free up resources”

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90 years of the Higher Institute of Health.  Bellantone: “Universal service, we focus on prevention to free up resources”

If we were to talk about the Higher Institute of Health, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary having been founded on 21 April 1934 to deal with malaria, we cannot fail to take into account a beautiful celebratory video projected in the presence of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarellawho met three young researchers, the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaciof former presidents and researchers of the Institute, now chaired by Rocco Bellantone.

Cardiovascular diseases, ISS leading EU maxi-project for the prevention of Irma D’Aria 21 March 2024

A short video that tells the stories of women and men of the Institute, scientists, 4 Nobel Prize winners (Enrico Fermi for physics and medicine Rita Levi-Montalcini, Ernst Boris Chain e Daniel Bovet) but also the workers. And the past can also be represented by the courage and perseverance of Daria Bocciarelli, of the physics laboratory, who in 1943, knowing that the Germans would come to requisition the first Italian-made electronic microscope, the one she was working on, spent the whole night before their arrival dismantling it piece by piece in order to draw it, and then rebuild. But it was still in the Institute that the first penicillin factory was built and it was the women and men of the Institute who in the early 1970s arrived in Naples within 24 hours, confirmed the diagnosis of cholera within 48 hours and within two days, with with the help of the American army, they vaccinate two million people, identifying the cause of the epidemic in the consumption of infected mussels.

More and more non-self-sufficient elderly people need new models and services by Dario Rubino 29 March 2024

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Many emergencies addressed by the technical body of the Ministry of Health, from the toxic cloud of Seveso to the impact of the Chernobyl explosion and the measures immediately taken which avoided thousands of thyroid and tongue tumors, passing through the earthquake in Irpinia in 1980, the AIDS epidemic, mad cow disease and the latest devastating Covid 19 pandemic. The festive occasion is the right time for Bellantone to underline the role of the Institute which he recently directed, himself a well-known former surgeon to the relationship with the sick and now dealing with decisions that affect millions of citizens. A few points – he begins – highlight in a difficult historical moment: universal access to care which is the main vocation of the public service, indications based on scientific evidence, leaving no one behind, optimizing resources and focusing on prevention because safeguarding one’s health is the first step to age healthily and free up resources for others. Secure resources for others. “Prevention means teaching children to wash their hands, to eat fruit and vegetables, to balance physical activity and study – he concludes – and to focus on scientific literacy, which in Italy is still at a low level”. Something dramatically demonstrated in the pandemic.

There is a super-drug and it is called physical exercise by Laura Taccani 30 March 2024

Same line as the Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci. Faced with the aging of the population – he explains – we need to focus more strongly on prevention. And this is the objective of the surveillance conducted with the ISS on compliance with screening (low and dramatically different between the north and south of the country), excess weight, vaccination coverage, consumption of fruit and vegetables. A good and healthy old age must be earned, and it starts from young people, indeed it must start from young people because the risk is that there will no longer be resources to deal with the diseases that are so widespread in old age. “We must not leave the vulnerable behind”, specifies the minister, recalling the 77 million euro fund for autism spectrum disorders, the map of centers and teleassistance.

Healthcare in crisis, antibiotic resistance, new viruses and climate: the four threats to our health by Tina Simoniello 16 April 2024

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But not only that: rare diseases must be studied together with those affecting large numbers. Dealing with the antibiotic-resistance emergency and also with the environment because, if there had still been a need, the Covid pandemic has shown that we are all interconnected, humans, animals and the environment: One health, precisely. And so the image that perhaps most of all shapes the future of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità is still that of two women, two young researchers who are part of the Sea Care project – Giorgia Mattei e Lorenza Notargiacomo– who greeted President Mattarella from the Pacific Ocean on board our training ship Amerigo Vespucci where they are testing the health of the world‘s seas with a standard method. Despite themselves entering the Guinness Book of Vespucci, which for the first time on 5 April last rounded by sail one of the areas in the world where navigation is most difficult, the Cape of Good Hope. A good omen also for our healthcare.

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