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Carissa F. Etienne, PAHO/WHO Director, from the Lancet's new Series on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Latin America: In the past few decades, important policies and strategic initiatives in health and development have been embraced by Latin America, with the active participation and support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), WHO, and other partners. As democratic processes in the region are consolidated, with increasing decentralisation and greater social inclusion in decision making, there is an increasingly large and structured social demand for equity in access to health care, consistent with the principles of the WHO Constitution of 1948: "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being…".

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