The 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference, which is held from September 25 to 29, also elects the Director of PAHO.

Washington, DC, September 21, 2017 (PAHO / WHO) -  Ministers of Health from throughout the Americas will meet next week at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to discuss public health policies, address health challenges, and guide the organization's technical cooperation in each country.

At the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference, held from September 25 to 29 at the organization's headquarters in Washington, DC, PAHO Member States will also elect the next Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, which is the PAHO Secretariat. The person elected starts a five-year term on February 1, 2018. Dominica presented the candidature of Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, who has been PAHO Director since 2013. She is the only candidate that countries have presented.

The new report on Health in the Americas + 2017, which updates the health situation in the region and in each of the 52 countries and territories of the Americas, will be launched at the meeting. The report outlines progress and challenges in improving health in the region.

Regional health authorities will also discuss a strategy for strengthening the role of human resources in health in achieving universal access to health, a strategy and plan of action to strengthen tobacco control in Americas, a policy on ethnicity and health. Ministers will also discuss an action plan for the sustainability of the elimination of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, and a plan to strengthen the collection of vital statistics.

The opening session on Monday, Sept. 25 features Dr. Etienne, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas E. Price, and Nickolas Steele, Minister of Health and Social Security of Granada, outgoing President of the Pan American Sanitary Conference, among others.

PAHO's report highlighting the achievements and challenges in public health in the last five years will also be presented to delegations of the countries. The Sustainable Health Agenda of the Americas, which was developed by the countries themselves, will also be discussed as a framework for regional work aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Ministers will also consider two final reports on the impact of violence on the health of populations in the Americas, and the strategy and plan of action for cervical cancer control. In addition, health authorities will discuss progress reports on issues such as epilepsy, mental health, disability and rehabilitation, humanitarian assistance, cooperation for health development, among others.

Several parallel events are planned on issues including equity and health inequalities in the Americas region; climate change and health; migrants and health; the strengthening of health services to improve the management of noncommunicable diseases; policies to promote healthy eating; and road safety.

The Pan American Sanitary Conference is the supreme authority of PAHO and meets every five years to determine its policies and priorities. It also acts as a forum for the exchange of information and ideas on disease prevention; the preservation, promotion and recovery of physical and mental health; and health promotion.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) works with the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their populations. Founded in 1902, it is the oldest international public health organization in the world. It acts as the WHO regional office for the Americas and is the specialized health agency of the inter-American system

What: Opening of the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference of PAHO
When: Monday, September 25, 2017, at 9 am
Where: On-site: PAHO Headquarters, 525 23rd Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
Link to Participate virtually:


  • Carissa F. Etienne, Director of PAHO
  • Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization
  • Thomas E. Price, Secretary, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Nickolas Steele, Minister of Health and Social Security of Grenada, outgoing President of the Sanitary Conference.
  • Please confirm your participation to this or other events in the Conference at the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Muchas gracias


- 29ª Pan American Sanitary Conference
- 29ª Pan American Sanitary Conference documents
- List of parallel events