Mr. N. Vaghul, Chairman of ICICI Ltd., receiving
the Institutional Humanitarian award for
community services from Dr. George
The Governer of Karnataka state, Mr. Khurshed Alam Khan, releasing the conference brochure
at the opening ceremony
Purpose and Significance of the Conference
Delegates from over 20 countries at the
main conference hall
This International Conference on Lead Poisoning was organized and sponsored
by The George Foundation, The Centers for Disease Control
(USA), The World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Environmental
Protection Agency (USA), and held on February 8-10, 1999 at Bangalore,
India. One of the major objectives of the conference was to share information
needed to establish a time-phased lead prevention and treatment program
for India and other developing countries, and to improve programs in nations
that may have already begun. The guest speakers and panel members at the
conference were experts in the field from around the world. The invitees
to the conference included government officials representing the environment
and health departments, members of the scientific community, representatives
of international organizations, and industrial leaders with current roles
or likely involvement in solving the problem of lead poisoning.
The topics covered in the 3-day conference will help in formulating
the national plan and improving existing plans for the prevention and
treatment of lead poisoning. The topics fall within the following segments:
screening and measurement; prevention; and health effects and treatment.
The culminating segment on developing a national plan will integrate ideas
gathered from the previous segments.
Additional objectives of the conference were:
- Arriving at an understanding of the worldwide dimensions of the lead
- Developing a framework for integrated solutions to lead poisoning
at the international, regional, and local levels;
- Shifting the focus from reactive measures to effective prevention
- Establishing a central clearinghouse for collection and dissemination
The conference was an important step toward international lead poisoning
prevention. It will heighten national awareness of lead poisoning in the
individual countries and provide the framework for countries to work together
to develop and implement permanent solutions. Concerted follow-up efforts
will sustain the momentum generated by the conference.
The proceedings of the conference were published in August 1999, and
are also available at our web site www.leadpoison.net.
A White Paper recommending specific actions steps for implementing a national
program was prepared by the primary sponsors and other heads of major
institutions, which was presented to policy-makers in developing countries
prior to the end of 1999. Text of the White Paper is available in "Critical
Issues" section of this website.