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Scientific and technical innovation is crucial to promote social and economic development. PAHO aims to provide technical cooperation to member countries and regional stakeholder, facilitate processes that can foster Regional innovation systems with a public health perspective, as well as to serve regional health priorities.

At top priority of the program is the area of Innovation to combat Neglected Tropical diseases (NTD).  NTD related innovation posses particular challenges and opportunities and should become a Regional priority due to the burden that NTDs represent for the Americas.

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Processes and Mechanisms:

  • Sharing Information and Resources
  • Development of the participative knowledge base
  • Ensure the dissemination of trustworthy and independent information
  • Facilitate intermediation and cooperation / South-North and South-South Cooperation
  • Catalyze horizontal integration of projects
  • Advocacy for key issues and priorities
  • Provide tools for future cooperation

Current and Ongoing Activities:

  • Panama consultation on elements 1-3 of the GSPA: (September 2009)

PAHO, with the support of TDR, conveyed an informal consultation meeting on elements 1-3 of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPA). The consultation took place on September 2009 in Panama City.

Click  pdf here to read the Report  (1.74 MB)    pdf  [Available only in Spanish]

  • Advances on GSPA-Special session at the Global Forum for Health Research, Havana Cuba: (November, 2009)

PAHO's area of Technology, Health Care, and Research - Essential Medicines and Biologicals (THR/EM) successfully applied for a special session in this prestigious global forum attended by a diverse array of regional and international public health and research for health stakeholders.

THR/EM presented PAHO's activities and plans for the GSPA implementation as well as, through the participation of NHA from BRA, COR and Cub, showcased how member countries are fully engaged in access, innovation for health and IP rights management from a PH perspective. Moreover, Dr Precious Matsoso (PHI/WHO) joined in this activity by acting as a moderator of the session, exemplifying the collaborative partnership that PAHO and WHO have developed in this area of work.

  • Innovation to combat Neglected Tropical diseases: (November, 2009)

Within the context of the Global Forum for Health research (see above), THR/EM took the opportunity to convey a satellite meeting to discuss particular issues related to innovation to combat NTD and how the Americas can play a leading role in this essential element to eliminate these ailments.

National Innovation Frameworks for Health:

PAHO, in collaboration with technical partners and Ministries of Health (MOH) in member countries, is developing a mapping instrument for national innovation frameworks for health. 

The lack of systematized information of the state of innovation for health in member countries has been singled out as one barrier to plan and develop policies and strategies to promote effective innovation for health in the Region. Moreover, once these plans are put in place, the lack of a baseline reading against which progress can be measured can hinder adequate monitoring and evaluation programs. However, innovation systems are highly complex and, in particular, in the health arena. Unlike other health areas, there is a lack of clear consensus of which would be the most adequate indicators and descriptors for measuring innovation for health. Additionally, most of the existing information and previous attempts to measure innovation for health come from high income countries which might not directly apply to the regional context. 

In order to develop a suitable methodology to measure and monitor progress in member countries, THR/EM has embarked in a pilot program for mapping innovation for health. This initial pilot encompasses three member countries (ARG, BRA, COL), PWR offices (ARG, BRA, COL) and a technical partner (RICYT, red de indicadores de Ciencia y Tecnología). A first phase included an exhaustive literature review for plausible models that can be adapted regionally and the selection of a set of descriptors and indicators that could contribute to draw a full picture of innovation systems at country level. The second phase, which is currently being implemented, includes data collection for the chosen indicators and the development of a survey that will allow the collection of descriptive data among relevant stakeholders.  THR/EM is coordinating this project with participating MOH who will be conveyed for the evaluation and interpretation of the data. THR/EM will also convey technical experts that might help to validate this model as well as to expand it to other countries.

 Strategic Public Health Products Production Capacity

  • Assessment of regional production capacity priority products (Brasil, Argentina,Mexico
  • Public Manufacturing in the Americas(Andean (ORAS), Phase I, Regional, Phase II)