Washington, September 15, 2010 —  Pan American Health Organization Director Dr. Mirta Roses today briefed ambassadors to the Organization of American States on details of the upcoming PAHO Directing Council meeting, where health ministers will discuss a variety of important public health issues. 

Dr. Mirta Roses, Director of the Pan American Health Organization, Ambassador H.E. Maria Isabel Salvador, President of the Permanent Council of the OAS, Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin.  Photo by Sonia Mey-Schmidt, PAHO/WHO

Dr. Roses noted that a series of key topics on regulation, program policy, administration and finance, and awards are among the agenda items for the 50th Directing Council, which runs from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 in Washington. 

Among the technical topics up for discussion, she said, are  a new strategy to reduce abuse of psychoactive substances, a plan to interrupt the transmission of T. cruzi and control Chagas' Disease, the strategy to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis in the Americas by 2015, and the presentation of the regional vision and strategy on immunization. 

Health ministers also will discuss a new plan of action for Safe Hospitals and a concept paper on health and human rights. They will hear progress reports on implementation of the International health Regulations; the Framework Convention on tobacco Control;  the integrated approach to prevent and control chronic diseases; elimination of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, and progress in achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals, as well as other topics. 

One special event commemorating the 30th anniversary of smallpox eradication and the creation of PAHO's Revolving Fund for Vaccine Procurement is also being observed as part of the Council's activities, she noted. 

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