Health Leaders Vow to Resist Tobacco Industry Pressure and Support Efforts to Reduce Tobacco Use

Legislation aimed at reducing tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke is under assault from cigarette makers and their allies

Washington, D.C., September, 29, 2010 (PAHO) — Health leaders meeting at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) vowed today to take action to counter attempts by the tobacco industry to subvert public health efforts aimed at protecting people from the harmful effects of tobacco use.

To view press release.

Countries Debate Strengthening Immunization Programs

InmunizacionesThe Executive Committee supports the effectiveness of immunization programs and supports efforts to strengthen PAHO; it also emphasizes the monitoring of procedures to alleviate public concern over some vaccines. It mentions the interest of some countries in considering immunizations as a public good, while acknowledging that some already have designated them as such achieving the eradication of polio, rubella, congenital rubella, among others.

Peru’s Health Minister, Dr. Oscar Ugarte, talks about the achievements of the nutrition program Crecer and the initiative to make public spaces tobacco-free

PAHO, GAVI and Ministries of Health Hold Technical Meeting

Realizan reunión técnica OPS, GAVI y ministros de saludIn order to review advances in the six countries of the Americas that receive support of the Global Alliances Vaccine Immunization (GAVI) members of PAHO, GAVI and ministers of health of Haiti, Honduras, Cuba, Nicaragua, Guyana and Bolivia met today.

Countries Gather in Groups to Debate Urbanism and Healthy Living

GruposIn Thursday’s plenary session the delegations will present their proposals on intersectoral issues, the role of the ministries of health, climate change and PAHO’s role.

Health Ministers Vow to Resist Tobacco Industry Pressure and Support Efforts to Reduce Tobacco Use

ImagenCigarette makers and their allies try to block legislation aimed at reducing tobacco consumption and exposure to second-hand smoke.

Ministers of Health called on PAHO to help strengthen their ability to implement tobacco control measures, particularly those contained in the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Nils Daulaire Calls to Work to Reduce Health Inequalities in the Large Cities

ImagenThe director of the Office of Global Health of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States recounted that the policies developed in New York, where mortality is higher in the poor areas that in those of better income, managed to improve life expectancy of the inhabitants, but clarified that despite the progress inequalities persist regardless of income or ethnicity of the people.

Dr. Luis Augusto Galvão, PAHO’s Sustainable Development and Environmental Health Area Manager, Speaks of the Main Issues from his Area being Discussed at the 50th Directing Council

Almost 80% of the Population of the Americas Lives in Cities

Jacob Kumaresan Jacob Kumaresan, director of the Kobe Center in WHO, highlighted that in cities there are from 8 to 10 times more physicians than in rural areas. He also mentioned the fast pace urban growth surpasses the ability of the available services to provide a adequate response.

Countries Discuss the Health Situation in Cities in the Face of Urban Growth

Vista General

PAHO Director Meets with Mexico’s Secretary of Health

Directora de OPS se reune con el Secretario de Salud de México

José Ángel Córdova Villalobos invited Mirta Roses and other representatives of the Pan American Health Organization to participate in the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-16) to be held next December in Mexican city of Cancun.

Mexican Secretary of Health Awards PAHO Director a “Tree of Life”

Dr. Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos, Secretario de Salud de Mexico y la Dra. Mirta Roses Periago, Directora de la Organizacion Panamericana de la Salud. Foto:  Eduardo Morales

Dr. Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos, Secretary of Health of Mexico, and Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, Director of the Pan American Health Organization. Photo: Eduardo Morales

PAHO’s Management Presents Work Report

Vista generalFollowing the report that PAHO’s Executive Committee delivered on it’s work, where it details progress made in relation to PAHO’s expected results, different countries in the voices of its ministers or delegates offered their comments.

Peru Elected to Participate in the Tropical Diseases Program Committee

Perú English version will be available soon.

United States, Granada and Peru chosen to serve on PAHO’s Executive Committee

Estados Unidos, Granada y PerúThese countries replace Bolivia, Mexico and Suriname, after the expiry of their mandates. The Committee is composed of 9 members states who remain in office for a period of 3 years. After that time, they must wait a year for re-election.

Ministers Share Work Experiences and Advances in Nutrition Projects

Ministers of health share work experiences and progress achieved on their nutrition projects

With the intention of sharing work experiences and advances in their respective nutrition projects, four ministers in attendance of the 50th Directing Council, met with the Assistant Director of PAHO, Dr. Socorro Gross.

Statue of Inventor of Vaccine Against Smallpox is Unveiled

Inauguración estatuaA statue of Edward Jenner, creator of the vaccine against smallpox, was unveiled by PAHO director Dr. Mirta Roses; Deputy Director, Dr. Jon Andrus; Assistant Director, Dr. Socorro Gross; doctors Donald Henderson and Ciro de Quadros, and the director of the Museum of Epidemiology of Berkeley, England, Sarah Parker, who gifted the statue to the Organization. “There are many statues of Jenner in the world and I cheer that Washington has one now,” said Parker, who issued a call to “learn from the past and to promote research in the future.”

The Americas Move Toward the Elimination of Rubella

Dra. Gina Tambini, gerente del Área de Salud de la Familia y la Comunidad - Dr. Gina Tambini, Area Manager, Family and Community Health

Dra. Gina Tambini, gerente del Área de Salud de la Familia y la Comunidad

“Since February 2010, the region of the Americas shows no recorded no cases of endemic rubella,” highlighted Dr. Gina Tambini, Area Manager of Family and Community Health; she added that the achievement is due to the “commitment of Member States, the contributions from PAHO’s partners, and the commitment of health personnel in the countries.”

Dr. Gina Tambini’s Report on Rubella

Recognition Ceremony to Honor Key PAHO Member States and Strategic Partners in the Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Initiative in The Americas

Interview with Sarah Parker, Director Edward Jenner Museum

Costa Rica is Recognized for its Efforts Towards Rubella Elimination

Costa Rica

Dr. Daniel Salas, adviser to Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health, received the recognition from the Pan American Health Organization.

Sarah Parker, from the Edward Jenner Museum at Berkeley, Highlighted the Life of Edward Jenner, Inventor of the Vaccine Against Smallpox

Sarah Parker

The Ministry of Health and Social Policy of Spain Recognized for its Support for Rubella Vaccination Campaigns in the Americas

SpainAmbassador Javier Sancho, Spain, received recognition from PAHO, on behalf of the Spanish health agency.

Who was Edward Jenner?

JennerThe creator of the first vaccine, Edward Jenner, was a physician and scientist born in 1749 in Berkeley, England, said PAHO Assistant Director, Dr. Socorro Gross, during the celebration of the anniversary of the smallpox eradication.

Jenner noted that the women who milked cows developed smallpox with less frequency. Smallpox was one of the most feared diseases at the time:   it killed millions without distinction by age or status.

The English physician proposed the hypothesis that the secretion of vesicles of smallpox of the cow was what protected the women that milked.   In May 1796, he proved its hypothesis, inoculating a 8 year-old child. The effect was fever and discomfort but not severe disease.   Months later, the child did not present the disease.   It remained immunized.   Jenner made the test then with others 23 people, with the same results.   As the inoculation was done from the cow therefore the term vaccination was born.

Jenner died in January 1826, at age 76.

PAHO recognized the Canadian International Development Agency for efforts to eliminate measles and rubella

CanadaPAHO recognized the Canadian International Development Agency for its support toward measles elimination, rubella, and congenital rubella in the region. The ambassador Allan Culham received the recognition.

CDC was recognized for its support for the elimination of disease through rubella vaccine initiatives


VIDEO: Unveiling of the bust of Edward Jenner

Interview with Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla

Serum Institute of India Recognized for Contribution to the Elimination of Measles and Rubella

IndiaCyrus Poonawalla, from the Serum Institute of India, received the distinction from PAHO. “It is the first time that PAHO gives an award to a private industry. The Institute is a model of business ethic and humanitarianism,” said PAHO’s Deputy Director Dr. Jon Andrus.

PAHO Director Met with Bolivia’s Minister of Health

La directora de la OPS se reunió con la ministra de Salud de BoliviaDr. Mirta Roses and Nilda Heredia met to analyze important health issues in Bolivia, and to discuss PAHO’s technical cooperation with that country.

Video: Esperanza Martínez, Paraguay’s Minister of Health, speaking on vaccines and tobacco

Dr. Martinez describes Paraguay’s commitment to PAHO’s Revolving Fund, and highlights the continued efforts by the public sector and civil society to maintain gains made in the area of smoke-free spaces.

Minister of Health of Paraguay highlighted the benefits of purchasing vaccines through the PAHO Revolving Fund

Ministra de Salud de ParaguayShe noted that the Americas went from purchasing 38 million doses of vaccine during the first years to over 300 million in the present day. “This is about high quality vaccines at fair prices,” she said and stated that 40 countries from the region now make their purchases through the Fund. Because of immunizations, the region “is free from polio, measles and very soon from rubella” she said.

Health Minister of Paraguay, Dr. Esperanza Martínez, on PAHO’s Revolving Fund

Countries celebrate 30th Anniversary of Smallpox Eradication, Vaccine Revolving Fund, and look ahead to new challenges

Sesión viruelaWashington, DC, September 28, 2010 (PAHO) – Health ministers from the Americas today reflected on the future of immunization programs by celebrating major milestones in fighting disease and looking ahead to new challenges made possible by advances in vaccine technology.

View press release.

Dr. Mirta Roses Talks About the 30th Anniversary of the Eradication of Smallpox and PAHO’s Revolving Fund for Vaccines

VIDEO: Ciro de Quadros Speech – 30 Years of Smallpox Eradication

PAHO Director Evaluates Work of PAHO Revolving Fund

Dra. Mirta RosesTo celebrate the 30th anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, Dr. Mirta Roses remembered Edward Jenner’s dream to eradicate diseases with the use of vaccines. She also evaluated the successful work of the Revolving Fund since its creation in 1979, because it allows member countries to get their vaccines promptly to meet their needs or emergencies. She cited as an example the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

VIDEO: D. A. Henderson Speech on 30 years of Smallpox Eradication

VIDEO: Dr. Ciro de Quadros Recognition

Dr. Gina Tambini, Area Manager Family & Community Health

PAHO recognized Dr. Ciro de Quadros for his contributions to immunization programs in the Americas

Dr. Ciro de CuadrosThe Brazilian doctor was honored for his contributions to PAHO’s Expanded Program on Immunization and his role in creating the PAHO Revolving Fund for vaccine procurement.

“30th Anniversary of Smallpox Eradication” session in pictures

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Point of No Return: The Eradication of Smallpox in Somalia

30th Anniversary of Smallpox Eradication, interview with Dr. Ciro de Quadros, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President, Sabin Vaccine Institute

30th Anniversary of Smallpox Eradication, Interview with Dr. D.A. Henderson, M.D., M.P.H., WHO Chief of Eradication Program 1966-1977

Dr. D.A Henderson spoke about his experience as former head of the WHO Smallpox Eradication Program

In his address, he stressed the importance of immunization programs in the Americas to public health.

Smallpox, 30 Years of Successful Eradication

Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Lunch


PAHO supports Brazilian early childhood development project

La OPS apoya un proyecto brasilero de desarrollo temprano infantil - PAHO supports Brazilian early childhood development projectSocorro Gross, PAHO’s Assistant Director, met with members of the Brazilian team working on the ‘Brasileirinhos y Brasileirinhas Saudáveis’ (Healthy Little Brazilian Girls and Boys) project to support their work on early childhood development.

The Organization will share with the leaders of the initiative experiences and research that will help them measure the lag in this area that exists in Brazil.