December 6, 2021

Ministers of Health of the Americas will meet virtually in PAHO’s Directing Council to address health priorities

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Health authorities will discuss the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges on Sept.28-29. Colombia’s President Ivan Duque and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley are among the officials scheduled to open the virtual event.
Washington, D.C., 25 September 2020 (PAHO/WHO) –  Ministers of Health and other senior authorities from countries and territories will meet virtually from September 28-29, 2020 to address the critical health challenges facing the Region of the Americas with the COVID-19 pandemic, at the 58th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). 
The opening ceremony on Monday, 28 September, will be attended by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, and the President of Colombia, Ivan Duque, as well as PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne; the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro; and the president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno.  
Costa Rican Minister of Health Daniel Salas and Alex Azar, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary will also participate. The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will deliver a message at the event. The opening ceremony of the Directing Council will begin at 9:00 am EST (Washington D.C.), and will be broadcast on livestream.  
Discussions will focus mainly on countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact COVID-19 has had on national health systems and services, which will be addressed in-depth on Tuesday, 29 September. Implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) will also be discussed. 
PAHO’s Director will present her annual report for 2019, focusing on progress made in a range of technical cooperation strategies and actions.  The report also reflects how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting longstanding health gains of the Region, and these may be placed at risk for the future, including in such areas immunization programs, the resiliency of health systems, and progress made in communicable diseases.  Equally important are areas of emerging importance within the pandemic, such as mental health, noncommunicable diseases and digital health.  
The participants in the Directing Council will also discuss the region’s health achievements from 2014 to 2019, as a review of PAHO’s strategic plan for those years; PAHO finances and programmatic priorities, among other topics.  
The virtual debate during the two-day Directing Council Directors will be broadcast live at the following link: 
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) works with the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their populations. The PAHO Directing Council brings together ministers of health and high-level delegates from its Member States to discuss and analyze regional health policies, and to set priorities for technical cooperation and cross-country collaboration. 
 Documents 58th Directing Council 58th Directing Council 58th Directing Council Livestream 
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