PAHO’s Director calls for regional self-sufficiency for medical products

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    PAHO Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne (Image via PAHO)

    PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, says COVID-19 has highlighted the need to decrease regional dependence on imports for medicines, vaccines, and other key health products.

    At the opening of the 170th Session of PAHO’s Executive Committee, Dr. Etienne said the region is learning that it must collectively embark on a sustainable and collaborative, rather than competitive, pathway to self-sufficiency.

    As such, she has called on countries to increase long-term investment in public health and to improve the resilience of systems against future health threats.

    She also warned that continued underinvestment will hamper the a more agile, consolidated, and efficient response to the next pandemic.

    The 170th Session of PAHO’s Executive Committee takes place from June 20th to 24th, with discussions to focus on PAHO’s budget, as well as policies to strengthen pandemic preparedness and most pressing health issues in the region.

    Meanwhile, PAHO says a one-day Forum will be convened this year where PAHO Director candidates will have the opportunity to present their vision for the organization to Member States, Participating States and Associate Members.

    The election of the PAHO Director will take place during the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference in September 26th to 30th.

    The elected person will take office on February 1st 2023 and serve for an initial term of five years.