Published: Oct. 3, 2012

MSU global health expert meets with Middle Eastern officials

A Michigan State University professor traveled to Lebanon recently to discuss global health issues with the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, the country’s health minister and other officials.

Reza Nassiri, associate dean of global health in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and director of the MSU Institute of International Health, made the trip as part of the institute’s ongoing global health outreach efforts in the Middle East. He also promoted MSU’s new OneHealth Initiative, a holistic approach to solving global health issues by encompassing human, animal and environmental health.

“Given the long history of education and health institutions in Lebanon, this country plays a pivotal role in the Middle East in international debates regarding health,” Nassiri said. “Lebanon can be an influential player in regional and international health policy discussions and an important bilateral partner for MSU.”

Nassiri’s meeting with His Excellency Nabih Berri, the parliamentary leader, focused on MSU’s leadership in global health issues, especially in Africa. Berri, who worked in Michigan as an economist in the early 1960s, was familiar with MSU’s global outreach and praised the university’s international development projects.

Ali Hassan Khalil, the Lebanese Minister for Public Health, spoke with Nassiri about the relevance of global health to security, economic growth and trade. Khalil is due to make an official visit to Washington, D.C. in December, and he expressed interest in visiting MSU during that trip.

Nassiri also met with representatives of the Medrar Health and Education Foundation, who expressed a clear interest in partnering with MSU agriculture experts for a development project in Ethiopia. A delegation from the foundation will arrange to visit MSU officials.

During a visit to the teaching hospital at the American University of Beirut, Nassiri discussed potential collaboration and medical student exchange between the universities.

Reza Nassiri, director of MSU's Institute of International Health (left), meets with His Excellency Nabih Berri, speaker of the Lebanese Parliament.

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