RIMSA collage

Inter-American Meeting, at Ministerial Level, on Health and Agriculture


RIMSA Meetings: RIMSA 15 (2008) | RIMSA 14: New! Book (2005) 
RIMSA 13 (2003) | RIMSA 12 (2001)

What is RIMSA? RIMSA stands for Inter-American Meeting, at Ministerial Level, in Health and Agriculture (taken from the Spanish acronym for Reunión Interamericana, a Nivel Ministerial, en Salud y Agricultura). It is the only regional forum for collaboration and coordination on issues related to veterinary public health, with the participation of the Ministers of Health and Agriculture from PAHO Member States. Through RIMSA, PAHO receives the political support necessary to develop technical cooperation in these countries, in that area.

new! Video: (in Spanish) Salud y Agricultura: Construyendo alianzas para una mejor vida en las Américas (Health and Agriculture: Constructing Alliances for a Better Life in the Americas). The relationship between health and agriculture for social and economic development is indisputable and therefore necessitates their integration. This video shows how, together, health and agriculture can help eliminate hunger and reduce poverty.

When did RIMSA begin its activities? When it began in 1968, RIMSA was a forum aimed solely at Ministers of Agriculture from PAHO Member States. However, since 2000, it began to include participation by those countries' Ministers of Health. Carried out every two years and coordinated by the PAHO Veterinary Public Health Unit, RIMSA creates an indispensable space for political support, contributing to the success of technical cooperation on questions related to veterinary public health.

What is RIMSA's function? RIMSA's main function is to unite the national authorities from the health and agricultural sectors, at ministerial level, thus creating the political conditions necessary for the debate on country needs and on PAHO proposals in the area of veterinary public health. The PAHO Veterinary Public Health Unit works in collaboration with the countries in elaborating national and regional initiatives for the prevention and control of zoonotic and foodborne diseases, for the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease, and on other measures related to food safety. To develop these actions, PAHO takes into consideration the complexity of the political and economic variables as well as the technical excellence that intersectoral action requires. Therefore, RIMSA's function is highly relevant, in that it takes into account both the countries' commitment and the impact of decisions made on the countries' economy and on the health of its population, in the Region of the Americas.

RIMSA ensures the political support necessary to make things happen. The PAHO Veterinary Public Health Unit carries out its activities through cooperative programs, in accordance with PAHO's strategic and programmatic goals as defined every four years. These goals take into consideration WHO and PAHO mandates as well as the needs of the Member States. As the only regional forum composed of Ministers from the two sectors—Health and Agriculture—as well as other high-level political authorities from the Member States, RIMSA supports PAHO's work in this area. In this way, it enables discussion on relevant issues and coordinates regional-level action to promote national priority plans and projects. Through RIMSA, the PAHO Veterinary Public Health Unit presents and consolidates proposals, articulates their viability and receives the political support needed for their development.