Washington DC, December 1, 2022 (PAHO) – Tomorrow, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) marks its birthday as the oldest international public health agency in the world, celebrating 12 decades of work promoting health and well-being throughout the Americas region.
on December 2 1902, 11 countries met at the First International Sanitary Convention of the American Republics and founded the International Sanitary Office. Its goal was to deal with the spread of yellow fever across borders at a time of rapidly expanding shipping.
Since then, PAHO has worked tirelessly to combat disease, prolong life, and promote physical and mental health for all people in the Americas, leaving no one behind.
“As our region begins to emerge from nearly three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed some of our deepest health inequities, I have never been more convinced that the creation of PAHO makes 120 years was an incredible act of foresight,” said PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne.
“Today, the organization continues to work with the countries under the guiding principle that health is not a privilege, but a fundamental human right,” he stressed.
Over the past 120 years, PAHO has led the Americas to become the first region in the world to eliminate smallpox and polio, and to end the endemic transmission of rubella, congenital rubella, and tetanus. neonatal.
The organization has also played a fundamental role in achieving an average increase of 30 years in life expectancy in the region, as well as in the significant reduction of infant mortality and the expansion of health coverage among populations in situation of poverty and vulnerability.
Over the past three years, PAHO has worked on the front lines of the response to COVID-19 in the region, supporting countries, equipping laboratories, and providing diagnostic tests. Through its Revolving Fund, the organization procured and delivered more than 151 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 30 countries in the Americas.
PAHO is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System and acts as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). PAHO has 35 Member States and four associate members in the region. Under the leadership of the countries, PAHO sets regional health priorities and mobilizes action to address health problems throughout the Americas.
Celebrating 120 years of solidarity in promoting health and well-being, leaving no one behind