PAHO meeting to address COVID-19 pandemicSaturday, September 18, 2021
WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will host its 59th Directing Council meeting on Monday with Caribbean Community (Caricom) health ministers joining their hemispheric colleagues in analysing and debating the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Jamaica's Health & Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, will serve as president of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Directing Council meeting and PAHO said that the three-day virtual meeting will also discuss other health challenges facing the region.
The opening ceremony will be addressed by the presidents of Chile and Costa Rica, as well as the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the Dominican-born PAHO Director, Dr Carissa F Etienne.
The ceremony will also be attended by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro; and the President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Mauricio Claver-Carone.
Dr Etienne will present her annual report for the period July 2020 – July 2021 on Monday, “which highlights the organisation's support to countries during their response to the pandemic, while maintaining and strengthening their other health achievements”.
An update on COVID-19 in the region will also be provided on Wednesday, PAHO said, adding that discussions will also focus on resolutions, policies and roadmaps that aim to increase the production capacity of essential medicines and health technologies in the region, revitalise immunisation as a public good, digitally transform the health sector, establish resilient health systems, and ensure post-pandemic recovery, among others.
It said that a series of side events to the Directing Council will take place during the week.
On Tuesday, PAHO said there will be an event on technology transfer for the production of mRNA vaccines, where PAHO will announce the beneficiaries and regional projects that have been selected to develop these vaccines, as well as the consortium of countries and manufacturers that will work on this technology.
On Wednesday, the executive director of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, will join Dr Etienne in discussing “a comprehensive response” to the prolonged crisis due to the pandemic and the link between health and the economy.
The PAHO Award for Health Services Management and Leadership 2021 will also be presented during the week, PAHO said.