During her official visit, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne signed agreements with Brazil's Ministry of Health to improve basic health care and health management
Brasilia, March 13, 2018 (PAHO / WHO) - The Office of the President of Brazil presented the Oswaldo Cruz Gold Medal of Merit to Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) on March 12. Etienne received the medal at Palacio do Planalto during a meeting with Brazil's president, Michel Temer, and the country's Minister of Health, Ricardo Barros.
The medal, honoring Oswaldo Cruz, one of Brazil's most important scientists and public health professionals, was awarded in recognition of Etienne's service to public health in Brazil. "I accept this medal with humility," she said. "I recognize that my contributions to improving public health are built on the work of those who came before me." The meeting between Etienne, Temer, and Brazil's health officials included discussions about several of the country's health issues and collaboration with PAHO/WHO.
On March 13, Brazil's Ministry of Health, the Pará Ministry of Public Health, and PAHO/WHO signed agreements designed to improve basic health care and health management. Barros met with Etienne at PAHO's Brazil office to review the agreements. Also in attendance was Vitor Manuel Mateus, Secretary of Public Health for the state of Pará
Among the documents signed was one that extended the technical cooperation agreement for the temporary deployment of physicians from Cuba to Brazil, under the Mais Médicos ["More Physicians"] program until April 2023. The agreement also addresses the professional qualifications of physicians; national and international exchanges of knowledge and innovative experiences in basic health care; and monitoring and evaluation of the program's outcomes and impact, along with other initiatives designed to expand the Brazilian population's access to primary health care.
"The Mais Médicos program has revolutionized access to health care in Brazil, and PAHO was fortunate to be part of that experience, making it possible to provide better health care and achieve a high level of satisfaction and acceptance by the population. Mais Médicos is also an example of a best practice that other countries can learn from," said the PAHO/WHO Director.
The other agreement signed focuses on strengthening the management capacity of the Unified Health System in Pará. Its objectives include improving the care network for sexually transmitted infections; providing training that emphasizes health monitoring, analysis, and evaluation; increasing laboratory capacity in the state of Pará; and promoting the sharing of experiences among municipalities, states, and countries in the Region of the Americas.
The PAHO Director underscored the importance of working with subnational institutions to ensure that health services reach all population groups. "I am grateful to the Ministry of Health of Pará for the opportunity to engage with you in technical cooperation. We share a vision in which all people benefit from good health and well-being," said Etienne.
The Cooperation Agreement provides for actions to foster positive health outcomes at the national and international levels. Joint management by PAHO/WHO and authorities at the national, state, and municipal levels facilitates the dissemination of information and experiences, and ensures transparent management and technical cooperation, while fostering rational use and allocation of resources in the implementation of activities. Cooperation agreements take effect on the date they are signed, have a five-year term, and are extendable for an additional five years.