Regional health ministers to discuss health priorities

Saturday, September 22, 2018

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) – Caribbean health ministers will join their counterparts from the member countries of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for a week-long meeting aimed at establishing priorities and plans to address the main health challenges faced by the Americas.

PAHO said that the September 23-27 meeting in Washington, DC will allow for discussions on a series of plans to reduce the shortage in health personnel, lower the number of cases of, and deaths from cervical cancer, and improve the health of women, children and adolescents. 

It said the 56th Directing Council will also discuss action plans to improve vector control in order to prevent diseases, such as malaria, Zika and Chagas disease.

The President of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, will be named “Health Hero of the Americas,” PAHO's highest distinction, “in recognition of his leadership in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, as well as for his actions to ensure tobacco control in Uruguay, which has been an example to the world”.

The opening ceremony on Sunday will be addressed by PADO's director Dr Carissa F Etienne, as will the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Néstor Méndez; the Secretary of Health of Honduras, Octavio Sánchez; and the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar.

PAHO said various other side events will be held in parallel to the Directing Council. These include an event to discuss issues related to the elimination of trans fats, and the 40-year anniversary of the Declaration of Alma-Ata.

The application of International Health Regulations (IHR), road safety, maternal mortality, climate change and bioethics, among other topics, will also be discussed, PAHO said.

It said its Directing Council brings together ministers of health and high-level delegates of member states “to discuss and analyse regional health policies, and set priorities for technical cooperation and collaboration among countries.”

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