Havana, Cuba.- The Pedro Kouri Institute (IPK), leader in the study of infectious diseases and landmark in the country and the region, turned into its 80th anniversary focused on three major work fields: teaching, research and health care.

Specialist Guadalupe Guzman, president of the Congress that pays tribute to the 80 years of the institution founded by its main promoter Pedro Kouri, told the Prensa Latina news agency that those three fields complement each other.

The main goal of the IPK, created on December 8th, 1937 as an institute included in the University of Havana, is the constant surveillance of infectious diseases.

Guzman said that Cuba is open to the world and an individual may travel around the world from one place to another in 24 hours unaware of carrying an infectious disease.

She said that this level of control was a priority when collaboration with African countries began in the 1970s.

Guzman reiterated a phrase by leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, when opening the new IPK headquarters in 1993 to update the once Institute of Tropical Medicine and develop new roles for the previous center.

‘I ask you to consider the Pedro Kouri Institute that we open today not only as a Cuban institution, but as an institution for the Humanity,’ Fidel said at the time.

The Congress 80th anniversary of the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute, which runs from today until Friday at the Havana’s Conference Center, is being held along with the 9th Congress of Microbiology and Parasitology, attended by scientists from more than 150 countries.