October 18, 2021

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The authorities of the Americas will work together against the epidemic

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (Prensa Latina) Health authorities in Latin America and the Caribbean today agreed to strengthen policies in the region to end the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare for future health emergencies.

At the conclusion of the 59th meeting of the Steering Board of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), representatives of the member states of this regional organization adopted 13 resolutions to respond to the current complex epidemiological situation and prevent others.

Adopted decisions address regional production of essential medicines and health technologies, reversal of reductions in routine immunization coverage, move towards digitization of the health sector and strengthening of care systems to better respond to emergencies.

In this sense, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization, Carissa Etienne, highlighted countries’ insistence on strengthening health systems in the region ‘so that they are more resilient and can respond to public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic’. pointed out.

Member states recognized the need to increase investment in health systems, including essential public care functions.

On the other hand, Dr. Etienne pointed to the many challenges that have affected national responses to the pandemic, including inefficiencies in the global supply chain, and inequalities in the availability and distribution of both vaccines and essential supplies.

He added that limited or no regional production capacity and insufficient support and regulatory systems are all factors that exacerbate the region’s vulnerability.

For this reason, he requested support to strengthen the policy of self-sufficiency, which allows to increase national and regional production, as well as access to vaccines, essential medicines and health technologies.

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Etienne also called for urgent efforts to boost immunization, after lamenting the general decline in vaccination coverage in the Americas, with increasing levels of hesitation toward these injections.

I am absolutely confident that together, united in the spirit of American solidarity, we will defeat SARS-CoV-2 and be better prepared for the next virus, having assumed and taken seriously the lessons learned in this chapter from the public. the health. ‘, said the director of the Pan American Health Organization.

The Steering Board, which meets annually, is responsible for defining PAHO policies and priorities with regard to technical cooperation of Member States, and promoting issues of major public health importance at the regional level.

This year’s meeting took place approximately from 20 to 24 September.

ga / rbp