Washington, DC, 30 September 2019 (PAHO) – The Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) technical cooperation with member countries in the Americas is the focus of the latest Annual Report of the Director 2019, which was presented today by PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne to ministers of health and other health leaders at the 57th PAHO Directing Council.
“The idea of healthy, productive people everywhere, living their best lives despite the inevitable challenges, is one that cannot fail to inspire.”
The report describes PAHO’s support for country efforts to advance toward universal health by pursuing the 11 goals laid out in the Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas 2018-2030 (SHAA2030), a strategy for regional public health action that was unanimously endorsed by the ministers of health of the Americas in 2017.
“The SHAA2030 vision strongly supports leaving no one behind and the concept of health for all, which has captivated the attention of the global health community and people across the world for many years,” said Dr. Etienne. “The idea of healthy, productive people everywhere, living their best lives despite the inevitable challenges, is one that cannot fail to inspire.”
The SHAA2030 goals are aimed at advancing toward universal health improvements in health services, progressive reductions in out-of-pocket health spending, and the elimination of other barriers that keep people from accessing the health care they need when they need it.
“Universal health aims to provide comprehensive, quality, integrated health services that address promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation, and that are accessible to all when needed, without resulting in financial hardship for the users,” said Dr. Etienne.
Guided by the SHAA goals, PAHO’s technical cooperation during 2018-19 focused on support for the following 11 areas: 1) equitable access to health services; 2) stewardship and governance for health; 3) human resources for health; 4) health financing; 5) medicines, vaccines and technologies; 6) information systems for health; 7) evidence and knowledge in health; 8) outbreaks, emergencies and disasters; 9) noncommunicable diseases and mental health; 10) communicable diseases; and 11) health inequalities and inequities.
PAHO’s work during the period placed special priority on people and groups in conditions of vulnerability and countries experiencing political, migration, and other crises with serious impacts on public health. PAHO also prioritized its work in eight countries that are officially designated as PAHO “Key Countries”: Bolivia, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Suriname.
“While we recognize that there are differences in countries’ developmental stage, size, culture, resources, and systems, we strongly believe that all countries can address the core principles and components of universal health, regardless of those differences,” said Dr. Etienne.