Countries of the Americas Agree on Plan to Reduce Malaria, Prevent Reintroduction and Maintain Achievements
A strategy and plan of action to intensify efforts in reducing malaria, prevent its reintroduction, and protect current achievements was approved by the health authorities of the Member States of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), within the framework 51st Directing Council of the Organization.
The prevalence of chronic kidney disease in some areas of El Salvador was one of the issues addressed by the Minister of Health and Welfare of the country, Dr. Maria Isabel Rodriguez, and the Director of PAHO, Dr. Mirta Roses, during the 51st Directing Council of the Organization.
With the support of the Pan American Health Organization, the countries from the Region of the Americas will work on the creation of national programs to deal with epilepsy, a neurological disorder that affects approximately 50 million people worldwide, of which 5 million live in the Americas.
Ministers of health discussed, during the morning session of the 51st Directing Council, the proposed Plan of Action to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol, which seeks to lower levels of per-capita alcohol consumption and reduce alcohol-related harm.
According to WHO data, alcohol consumption was the leading risk factor for deaths and illnesses in the Americas in 2004 and was responsible for more than 347,000 deaths. The most common pattern of consumption in the hemisphere is the most risky pattern: heavy episodic drinking, mostly by males. This leads to acute and chronic health problems including injuries, mental health disorders, cancers, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. It also negatively affects other people, such as the victims of drunk-driving car crashes and alcohol-related violence.
The delegations of the countries of the Americas approve this morning a plan of action to include the consumption of psychoactive substances as a public health priority in national plans, as part of the 51st Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
- Plan of Action to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol
- Plan of Action on Psychoactive Substance Use and Public Health
- Strategy and Plan of Action on Epilepsy
- Strategy and Plan of Action on Malaria
Other matters scheduled for today’s session are the approval of the Plan of Action to Accelerate the Reduction of Maternal Mortality in the Americas, presented on Tuesday, and the Strategy and Plan of Action on Climate Change, which was discussed yesterday.
The Board of Directors yesterday approved the Strategy and Plan of Action on Urban Health, Strategy and Plan of Action on eHealth, and the Plan of Action on Road Safety, among others.
PAHO Director to Visit Spain to Participate in International Meetings and Meet with Health Authorities
During a meeting with Spain’s Director of Public Health and International Health, Dr. Carmen Amela, PAHO Director Mirta Roses defined the agenda for her visit to Barcelona and Madrid, where she will participate in several events between October 13 and 21.
Health authorities from the region approved a new Plan of Action on Road Safety to reduce traffic injuries, the leading cause of death in children aged 5 to 14 and the second leading cause of death in the group aged 15 to 44.
The plan, approved during the 51st Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization, looks for countries to enact legislation on major risk factors, such as speed, alcohol consumption, and the use of seat belts, helmets, and child restraints.
The delegations from the countries of the Americas this afternoon discussed the Strategy and Plan of Action on Climate Change, which proposes the elements and framework for
a plan of action to protect health from the effects of climate change in the Region of the Americas.
Health authorities from the Americas discussed different strategies for assessing and addressing the implications of climate change for health and health systems, and other measures.
The 51st Directing Council today approved the eHealth Strategy and Action Plan, which seeks to improve access to and quality of health services through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Among other things, these technologies are expected to increase efficiency in the use of time and resources and improve inputs for complex decision-making, including for patient diagnosis and treatment.
Minister of Health of El Salvador Dr. María Isabel Rodríguez, who served as the program’s first coordinator, said it had contributed “not only to the enrichment and reorientation of young health professionals in the region but also to the generation of new knowledge in international health and particularly to the deepening of one of its fundamental practices: technical cooperation in health.”
PAHO Director Dr. Roses said, “Its contributions to the development of a conceptual model for international health, the design and implementation of educational modules, the continuing education of its participants, and project execution in the countries have been invaluable.”
Countries in the Region of the Americas, with support from PAHO/WHO, will carry out a series of actions to improve health conditions in cities, where nearly 80 percent of the hemisphere’s population resides.
Health ministers from the member countires, gathered in Washington, D.C., this week for the 51st Directing Council meeting of PAHO/WHO, today approved the Strategy and Plan of Action on Urban Health.