The new Thai Ambassador H.E. Mrs Arunrung Phothong Humphreys commends icddr,b’s emergency humanitarian response effort

Dhaka, 24 April, 2019 - Today, H.E. Mrs Arunrung Phothong Humphreys, Ambassador-designate of Thailand to Bangladesh visited icddr,b in Mohakhali, Dhaka, where she  learnt about its five decades of  research, innovation, and humanitarian efforts, which include intervention in the Rohingya (Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals – FDMN) camps, and in the ongoing diarrhoeal disease outbreak in Dhaka. Ms Humphreys expressed her interest in exploring new partnership opportunities with icddr,b. During her visit she was accompanied by second secretary of the Royal Thai Embassy, Mr Pawornwat Simaskul and Ms Kalthira Koompirochana.

Ambassador Phothong was welcomed by icddr,b’s Executive Director and the winner of the Prince Mahidol Award 2018 (Public Health), Professor John D Clemens and icddr,b’s senior leadership team. She was briefed about icddr,b and its emergency humanitarian response in the Rohingya camps as well as the long partnership between Thailand and icddr,b, which includes sharing of scientific knowledge and innovation. She was also briefed about how icddr,b has dealt with large-scale cholera outbreaks worldwide since the 1960s  including epidemics in Sudan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen . 

She then toured icddr,b’s Dhaka hospital. During the summer peak it treats about 900 diarrhoeal disease patients every day, standing by its motto of ‘TURN NO PATIENT AWAY’. Later, she toured the mucosol immunology and vaccinology laboratory, clinical laboratory and was introduced to senior scientists at icddr,b.

Thai Ambassador-designate visits icddr,b

Ambassador Phothong is an expert on human rights and human security and has expressed her immense gratification regarding icddr,b’s emergency humanitarian response efforts. She said,            “I highly value the humanitarian work the institution has contributed to saving lives across the globe. I am, therefore, most pleased that Prof. John D. Clemens has been awarded the ‘Prince Mahidol award 2018’ for his important public health achievements.”

Professor Clemens said, “icddr,b is honoured to have had support from Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhom of the Kingdom of Thailand . Several of our scientists have also been recognised by the Prince Mahidol Award - one of the most prestigious awards in the field of public health. We look forward to more icddr,b-Thai partnerships  to  strengthen South-South collaboration and to generate evidence for policy on the introduction of many easy to scale public health innovations. ”

This was Ambassador Phothong’sfirst visit to icddr,b after she was appointed as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in December 2018.