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Updated June 7, 2001

Second Summit of the Am�ricas:  HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES

At the Second Summit of the Americas, the member countries once again reinforced their commitment to Health Care. These included the pledges to:

- Seek, through public and private efforts, to enhance the availability, access to, and quality of drugs and vaccines, especially for the most needy, by promoting efforts to safeguard the quality, rational selection and use, safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products, with special emphasis on vital and essential drugs;

- Support regional initiatives that by the year 2002 will facilitate research, development, production and utilization of vaccines, which will reduce the incidence of diseases, such as pneumonia, meningitis, measles, rubella and mumps.

- Strengthen and improve existing national and regional networks of health information and surveillance systems, so that stakeholders have access to data to address critical health issues in the Region, in order to make appropriate clinical and managerial decisions. They will address the development, implementation and evaluation of needs-based health information systems and technology, including telecommunications, to support epidemiological surveillance, the operation and management of health services and programs, health education and promotion, tele-medicine, computer networks and investment in new health technologies.

- Develop initiatives designed to reduce deficits in access to and quality of drinking water, basic sanitation and solid waste management, with special emphasis on rural and poor urban areas, by applying existing technologies or developing new, appropriate and effective low-cost technologies.

- Make every effort to ensure that the necessary resources are allocated for the development of the lines of action of this Plan, with the technical support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). They also will promote bilateral and multilateral collaboration, and will request the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, and other financial and technical cooperation institutions to support the programs and activities included in this initiative, according to their own specific priorities and fields of action.

Ninth Conference of Spouses of Heads of State and Government of the Americas

Between September 29 and October 1st, 1999, the IX Conference of Spouses of Heads of State and Government of the Americas was held in Ottawa, Canada.    The Conference was centered on two themes, "A Healthy Start: Investing in Children 0 - 6", and "Women’s Health", on which the Spouses made presentations.  At this conference the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)  presented its program on Women, Health and Development.

- Develop mechanisms for evaluating the relevance, cost and efficacy of the technologies introduced to deal with these and other priority health problems.

For the latest information on Health Technologies provided by the Pan-American Health Organization, please see PAHO’s Report to the XV Summit Implementation Review Group as well as the Progress Report presented to the Inter-American Committee on Summit Management.

PAHO's Division of Health Systems and Services Development is co-financing and implementing with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) a five-year project "Health Sector Reform Initiative". The goal of the project is to provide regional support to the national processes of health sector reform, promoting more equitable access and effective basic health services in the Region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

One of the many activities of the project is the development of an online database of Contacts in health sector reform that allows various types of searches according to the desired information. It is an important step in connecting professionals who are working in health sector reform and will allow the exchange of knowledge and information in a fast and efficient manner. You may reach the database through the project's web page.

Other PAHO Activities

As responsible coordinator, PAHO was given the mandate to develop and implement Health Technologies Linking the Americas.  This initiative is comprised of the three elements: access to quality drugs and vaccines, strengthening of information and surveillance systems, and improvement in access to and quality of water and sanitation infrastructure.  

For more information about the implementation of this initiative, please look at the PAHO report  "Health in the Summit Process".

The mandates and initiatives in health were reinvigorated and fortified at the 2001 Quebec City Summit of the Americas.  For more information on these mandates, and to continue with follow up activities in this area, please click here.

Updated June 7, 2001