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Geneva, 19 May 2014 (PAHO/WHO) — The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa F. Etienne, met on Monday with health officials from PAHO Member States in the Americas to discuss regional health priorities and the agenda for the 67th World Health Assembly, which is being held in Geneva this week.

Etienne highlighted resolutions on tuberculosis, hepatitis, access to essential medicines, and the implementation of the International Health Regulations as being of special interest to delegations from the Americas. Noting that "our region is a world leader" in health, she said she looked forward to the delegates' leadership in debates on these subjects.

Dr Etienne with delegations from teh Americas

Etienne noted that discussions about a proposed global strategy on tuberculosis (TB) are timely for the Americas, which needs to review its own action in this area, as the current PAHO regional strategy on TB expires in 2015. She noted Brazil's special interest in a global strategy on hepatitis and its call for follow-up on the Declaration of Recife on Human Resources for Health. For its part, Panama is advocating for palliative care as an integral component of health care throughout the life course.

Other agenda items of special interest to the Americas include health interventions and evaluation of health technologies in support of universal coverage, keeping health at the center of the post-2015 international development agenda, violence as a public health issue, and strengthening of drug regulatory systems.

During the regional meeting, Mexico's delegation presented a report on recent discussions about strategic allocation of resources within the framework of WHO reform, which is also on the Assembly's agenda.