They are the leaders fighting against protein, iodine, and iron deficiencies; they conducted research to determine the cause of leukemia; they fought against HIV in the Caribbean and helped eradicate smallpox and poliomyelitis in the Americas, among many other things. Here is a series of reports from some of the protagonists in the history of public health in the Region.

Washington, D.C., January 8 2014 (PAHO/WHO) - Reflections: the health of the people, the people of health is a project of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to honor the voices of specialists from different fields who have made major contributions to Health in the Americas.


The health leaders interviewed include Nevin Scrimshaw (2/20/1919—2/8/2013), former founding director of the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) and winner of the 1991 World Food Prize for his contributions to reduce protein, iodine and iron deficiencies; Christiane Dosne de Pasqualini, disciple of the Nobel Prize winner in Medicine Bernardo Houssay, and experimental researcher in cancer and immunology; and Sir George Alleyne, former director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and advocate of equity and Pan-Americanism.

Also, Ciro de Quadros, who successfully led the efforts to eradicate polio and measles in the Americas; Sumedha Khanna, obstetrician, gynecologist, and public health professional who through PAHO contributed to most family planning programs in the Region and was the first female representative of PAHO and WHO; and María Isabel Rodríguez, Minister of Health of El Salvador.

Elsa Moreno, Dean of the Medical School of Maimónides University; Abraham Sonis, scientific director of the Epidemiological Research Center of the National Academy of Medicine of Argentina; Nicaraguan ex-minister of Health Adam Cajina Ríos; malaria experts Jaime Ayalde and Kuang Chi Liang; and El Salvador's former minister of Health José Francisco López Beltrán recount their life and work history in the field of health.

Also reflecting on the health situation of the Americas are leprosy and tropical diseases specialist Jacinto Convit; Costa Rican former Minister of Health Edgar Mohs; former minister of Health of Antigua and Barbuda Samuel Aymer; José María Paganini, professor in the Public Health Masters program of the School of Medicine of La Plata National University; and professor Adolfo Chorny of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation.

LINK to the interviews: