Dr. Carissa Etienne PAHO Director visits Belize

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Regional Director for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO) Doctor Carissa F. Etienne visited Belize from Monday, February 18th to Friday, February 22nd. Dr. Etienne met with stakeholders and officials like Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow, Minister of Health Pablo Marin, and other high-level officials. The focus of her visit includes PAHO’s technical cooperation with Belize and the Director’s vision for universal health and sustainable development.
PAHO has been working with Belize and its member countries to advance the goal of “universal health” ever since ministers of health from throughout the Americas collectively endorsed that goal in 2014. The framework for these efforts is known as the primary health care (PHC) strategy, a strategic approach to developing, organizing, and financing health systems and services that are equitable, sustainable, and centered on people, families, and communities.

Dr. Carissa Etienne, PAHO Director 2018-2023

Dr. Etienne further participated in a meeting of PAHO’s representatives in Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. That meeting defined strategic, programmatic and managerial approaches for the Organization’s national and sub-regional technical cooperation. It also focused on repositioning public health for the 21st century and will include a presentation by the Minister of Health Pablo Marin.
The Director further participated in the launch of the Belize Human Resources for Universal Health Strategic Plan 2019-2024, which aims to increase the number of health care professionals. A native of Dominica, Dr. Etienne has visited Belize several times since she was elected on September 2012 as the Director of PAHO and re-elected for a second five-year term in 2017. PAHO provides support to countries as they initiated or deepened reforms aimed at strengthening the first level of care, and also provides support with the overall organization, management, and financing of health systems to increase their effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability. Last year, Dr. Etienne’s Annual Report focused on primary health care to guide the efforts of countries from the region to transform the vision of ‘health for all’ into reality.
PAHO works with the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of its population. Founded in 1902, it is the world’s oldest international public health agency. It serves as the Regional Office of WHO for the Americas and is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American system.

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