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Washington, D.C., 23 December 2019 (PAHO/WHO) – From hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, to the elimination of malaria in Argentina and rabies transmitted by dogs in Mexico, 2019 was a year marked by both challenges and achievements in public health in the Americas. As dengue cases in the Americas reached over 2.7 million, the highest numbers ever recorded, the region also faced a resurgence of measles, with 15,802 confirmed cases, including 18 deaths, reported in 14 countries.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) works with countries and territories in the Region, and alongside partners, to tackle these challenges, including during emergencies and disasters.

The organization continues to support efforts to reduce, control and even eliminate diseases such as rabies, lymphatic filariasis and over 30 more infectious diseases and related conditions, through its new elimination initiative launched this year.

PAHO has also published a variety of reports, such as “Masculinities and Health in the Region of the Americas” and “Ultra-processed food and drink products in Latin America: Sales, sources, nutrient profiles, and policy implications,” that have opened the door to the development of evidence-based public policies and programs that enable improvements to be made in public health and ensure the wellness of the Region’s population.

Here is just a summary of some of PAHO’s most significant work in public health in 2019.