Dr. Dirk Cuypers, FPS Public Health executive committee chairman, nearing the end of his mandate, has created a new scientific award to encourage research into the connection between public health and living environment. The “Dr. and Mrs. Cuypers – Van Eeckhoudt Environment and Health” Scientific Award is a “personal initiative” of the Doctor’s, who chaired the FPS for 12 years, after working in various pharmaceutical companies, says a member of FPS Public Health.
A call for nominations will be launched in September 2015. The prize will then be awarded for the first time either in November or December.From then on, it will be awarded annually by both the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine (ARMB) and the Koninklijke Academie voor Geneeskunde van België (KAGB).
“The impact of environmental factors on health is a most important topic for the future.International research development in this field only really started a few years ago”, explains FPS Public Health deputy spokesman Sven Heyndrickx. Dr. Cuypers created the “Dr. Cuypers Environment and Health Fund” within the King Baudouin Foundation and established a prize in a special effort to promote and support the work of researchers engaged in that field.
“Indoor and outdoor air quality, residues found in consumer goods (such as toys, clothing, building materials and food products)… all these factors have a significant impact on quality of life,” say the organisers. As “chronic diseases will be a major challenge for the years to come”, they point out that “preventive measures and a healthy living environment have the biggest impact on health and allow substantial savings in health care costs as a result”. “That’s why seeking factual data related to environmental effects on health objectives should be a priority,” they say…