Pedro N. Acha, DVM, MPH, DrHC (1931 - 1988)
Dr. Pedro Acha, a world-renowned public health veterinarian and international health expert, served as the chief of PAHO's Veterinary Public Health Unit from 1957 to 1986. After his retirement, he joined the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to coordinate inter-institutional relations. Dr. Acha was also a member of numerous FAO/WHO expert committees on zoonoses and veterinary medical education throughout his career.
During his lifetime, Dr. Acha advanced knowledge about zoonoses among public health professionals through his numerous publications. He was perhaps best known for the book he co-wrote with Boris Szyfres, Zoonoses and Communicable Diseases Common to Man and Animals, which has become the definitive text on these diseases.
Dr. Acha contributed new perspectives to veterinary medicine by calling attention to the link between the health and agriculture sectors, while considering economic and social factors for improving the health and quality of life of all the people of the Americas. In recognition of these contributions, he received many accolades, including the International Veterinary Congress Prize from the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Gentle Doctor Award from the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, the Hipolito Unanue Award from Peru, and the Order of Agricultural Merit from France.
He held a veterinary medicine degree from the National University of San Marcos in his native Peru. He received a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship to study at the University of California-Berkeley, where he graduated with a master's degree in public health in 1955.