PAHO’s Assistant Director, Socorro Gross, presented to the countries the final document of the roundtable discussion on the topic. Highlited was the need to work to address the effects of urbanization on health and the impact of climate change.
The delegates from countries recognized that due to rapid and unplanned urban growth, 30.8% of the urban population lives in informal settlements. They also noted that although there are wide disparities between rural and urban areas, the inequitable distribution of resources also occurs in the inner cities.
According to the representatives of the States of the Americas, urban dimension and equity are central to achieving health goals.
They pointed out the need for improving the regulatory action of the health sector in its linkages with other sectors with greater capacity to act on the health determinants of urban populations.
The delegates examined PAHO’s need to prepare a draft of a Strategy and Regional Plan of Action on urban health and a resolution to be presented in 2011 to the 51st Directing Council.