PAHO director urges organisation to uphold responsibility to member states

Thursday, June 27, 2019

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WASHINGTON, (CMC) — The director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr Carissa F Etienne, says the organisation needs to find the “undeterred fortitude” to continue discharging its responsibility to member states in spite of various challenges facing the region.

“The daunting challenges that lay ahead will not be overcome if we do not continue to work together utilising collaborative and multi-stakeholder approaches,” Dr Etienne said addressing the 164th session of the PAHO's executive committee.

“We must find the opportunity and the undeterred fortitude to continue discharge our mission to lead strategic collaborative efforts among member states and other partners to promote equity in health, to combat disease, and to improve the quality of, and lengthen, the live of the people of the Americas,” she said.

The meeting, which ends tomorrow, is discussing strategies and plans developed in consultation with its member states, that guide regional cooperation.

Among the issues to be discussed here include strategies and action plans to improve quality of care in health service delivery; to ensure donations and equitable access to organ, tissue and cell transplants; ethnicity and health as well as health promotion within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The committee will also address issues around the elimination of industrially produced trans-fatty acids, and the strengthening of information systems for health. A PAHO disease elimination initiative for an integrated approach to communicable disease will also be discussed during the meeting.

Etienne said that the foundation of PAHO's longevity, an organisation that will celebrate its 117th anniversary this year, “lies in that enduring solidarity which you have constantly exhibited as we have worked together to successfully eliminate many diseases; to build resilient health systems based on primary health care approaches; and to enhance our collective emergency and disaster responses and responsiveness”.

Representatives of Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and the United States are in attendance.

PAHO said the executive committee will receive final reports including those on adolescent and youth health and active and healthy aging as well as progress reports on elimination of neglected infectious diseases; chronic kidney disease in agricultural communities and sustainability of measles, rubella, congenital rubella syndrome elimination, among other topics.

The meeting will also determine the final agenda to be addressed during the 57th Directing Council that will take place September 30 to October 4 this year.

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