Museum Honoring a Great Friend of Vietnam Officially Opened in Italy

On April 1, the museum named after doctor Carlo Urbani, who died after discovering SARS in Vietnam in 2003, was officially opened in his hometown of Castelplanio city, Ancona province, Marche region of Italy.
April 04, 2023 | 14:01

The opening ceremony was attended by Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Italian Deputy Health Minister Marcello Gemmato, President of the Marche region Francesco Acquaroli, President of the Legislative Assembly of the Marche region Dino Latini, President of Ancona Province Daniele Carnevali, Mayor of Castelplanio city Fabio Badiali, President of the Carlo Urbani Italy Association Tommaso Urbani, representatives of the Embassy of Vietnam to Italy, many officials, medical experts and Italian and international friends.

Museum Honoring a Great Friend of Vietnam Officially Opened in Italy
The mayor of Castelplanio city speaks at the opening of the museum. (Photo: TGVN)

Speaking at the opening ceremony, WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus called Dr Carlo Urbani "a hero," a symbol of the global fight against disease. His wisdom and experience in preventive medicine and vaccination, as well as treatment in less developed countries, are still valid today. Ghebreyesus presented the museum with a plaque commemorating the outstanding citizen of the city of Castelplanio, which used to be placed at WHO headquarters in Geneva.

Meanwhile, on behalf of the Vietnamese Embassy to Italy, Counselor Nguyen Thai Hoc emphasized that this event once again pays tribute to Dr. Carlo Urbani, honoring his great contributions and dedication to world health in general and to the cause of health protection and saving lives.

Dr. Carlo Urbani is a WHO expert on infectious disease in Vietnam. He dedicated himself to research on the SARS epidemic in 2003. Thanks to his in-depth research, Vietnam was able to analyze and identify the viral agent that caused the disease. Through isolation and intensive care, he found a way to defeat SARS in a short time. His life is a testament to the deep friendship between Italy and Vietnam.

Museum Honoring a Great Friend of Vietnam Officially Opened in Italy
WHO Director General and representative of the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy at the opening ceremony. (Photo: TGVN)

Twenty years after his death, a museum is opened in memory of Carlo Urbani. The museum is divided into three main areas, discovering his life, passions and activities as a doctor and scientists, his professional and human legacies, memorabilia and memories of the doctor who sacrificed for the cause of saving lives.

Dr. Carlo Urbani, who had worked in Vietnam for many years, contributed greatly in identifying the new SARS pandemic in 2003. Sadly, he fell ill on the way to Thailand and died on March 29, 2003, at the age of 46. Even in death, the good doctor was still dedicated to stopping the pandemic. He requested doctors to cut his lung as a study specimen. Two weeks after his death, thanks to that lung, scientists discovered the corona virus and found a way to control the SARS pandemic.

WHO honored the doctor - hero in the battle against the SARS pandemic with these beautiful words: "Despite his early death, Dr. Carlo Urbani lived a full life. If he were still alive, he would still be an exemplary representative of WHO's mission - to protect health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable."

In 2022, the late doctor was awarded the Order of Merit by the Italian government to honor his great contributions to the detection, identification and rapid response of new diseases, contributing to protecting human health.

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