Organization of American States Summits of the Americas
Follow-up and Implementation: Mandates

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HEALTH: Disease Prevention

  1. Develop an evidence-based Action Plan that takes into account the sociocultural, economic, and structural challenges facing the Americas region and includes, among others, identifying measures for national and international coordination and cooperation, taking into account the global commitments assumed by the states with respect to health and resilience, with a view to:

    • d. Strengthening regional and global health security and public health emergency preparedness for the future in keeping with previously established commitments, and increase health research and development funding, promoting regional actions to build and strengthen national and regional development and sustainable production capacities for raw materials, pharmaceuticals, and medicines, including safe and effective vaccines, medical supplies, and other essential health technologies; improving affordability and access; and responding to regional health needs, as appropriate, particularly during health emergencies;(Action Plan on Health and Resilience in the Americas, IX Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, 2022).

  1. To strengthen the ability of national health systems to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases and other public health emergencies, particularly those with the potential for cross-border effects and impacts in realms beyond health, including social, economic, security, and political risks. (Health, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. We encourage efforts to strengthen preparedness and response capacities to handle outbreaks of emerging epidemic diseases, in particular through the International Health Regulations, and note the work done by PAHO to develop a regional mechanism to support those efforts. (Health, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. To work to ensure secure and sustainable access to potable water and sanitation services for the population as a whole. We recognize that basic sanitation and hygiene are essential for health, integral and sustainable development, and environmental management and constitute a fundamental condition for the well-being and decent life of the population. (Health, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  1. We commit to improving the nutritional status of all the people of the Americas by 2015 and to the full implementation of the PAHO Regional Strategy on Nutrition in Health and Development 2006-2015. We will continue to promote the integration of nutrition into social and economic policies and plans and to reduce nutritional deficiencies through prevention and treatment strategies, including those targeted at the control of obesity and nutrition-related diseases. We also commit to increase awareness and educate our populations about the importance of diet and physical activity. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) to prevent the international spread of diseases such as pandemic influenza, yellow fever, dengue, malaria and others, and we commit to establish in our countries the basic capacities needed for surveillance and for responding to events that could constitute public health emergencies of international concern. We request that PAHO work with and support the countries, in accordance with the functions entrusted to it in the IHR (2005), in the areas of public health emergency prevention, control and response, particularly with respect to epidemics. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We are committed to meeting the Millennium Declaration objective of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015 through, inter alia, identification and implementation of strategies to scale up towards the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment, care and support. We will promote scientific research and social awareness geared towards producing safe and high quality medicines and supplies with the aim of increasing access to treatment. We will implement the Regional HIV/STI Plan for the Health Sector 2006-2015, in coordination with PAHO, UNAIDS and other relevant institutions. We commit to strengthening public policies aimed at reducing the incidence of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to less than 5% by 2015. We reiterate our commitment to participating in and strengthening the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, including through resource mobilisation. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We will promote integrated frameworks of public environmental, employment, health, and social security policies to protect the health and safety of all workers and foster a culture of prevention and control of occupational hazards in the Hemisphere (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We will strengthen cooperation and exchanges of information in the struggle against chronic diseases as well as emerging and re-emerging diseases such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, malaria, tuberculosis, avian flu, and other health risks. We commit to fighting the stigma, misinformation, and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in the workplace and favor their full access to employment with dignity. We propose to develop crosscutting strategies and cooperation mechanisms, principally within the framework of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), to combat these diseases, including the strengthening and adequate financing of the Global Fund to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria as well as the development of national preparedness plans to fight potential pandemics, such as avian flu. We urge all countries to accelerate the process of ratification of the new international health regulations and seek to enhance the cooperation mechanisms that would facilitate access to pertinent measures of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the population at risk (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To implement – with the support of the PanAmerican Health Organization (PAHO) – the “Three Ones Initiative: one HIV/AIDS action framework, one national AIDS coordinating authority, and one country-level surveillance and evaluation system” developing primary prevention of HIV/AIDS and strengthening health services for young people and other vulnerable groups, with special attention to the problem of stigma and discrimination in the labor environment, taking into account the ILO Code of Conduct on HIV/AIDS in the workplace. To promote efforts to provide integral prevention, treatment, and care to HIV/AIDS carriers with the aim of providing as close as possible universal access to treatment for all those who need it as soon as possible (Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To initiate immediately, with the support of PAHO, and finalize by June 2006, national plans on the preparation of influenza and avian flu pandemics in countries that do not have plans. In countries that already have plans, these should be implemented immediately according to the January 2005 decision of the Executive Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) (Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. To strengthen at the national level the strategy of supervised treatment of tuberculosis, with all of its components, and extend the coverage of the population at risk; in the same manner, coordinate efforts to reduce malaria in endemic countries and strengthen the fight against classic and hemorrhagic dengue (Plan of Action Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We emphasize that one of the pillars of human development and national progress is social protection for health and, accordingly, we will continue to broaden our prevention, care, and promotion strategies as well as investment in this field in an effort to provide quality health care for all and to improve, to the extent possible, social protection for all people, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable segments of society (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We are particularly concerned with the toll that HIV/AIDS is taking on our respective societies, the proliferation of the disease, and the threat that it poses to the security of our peoples. We recognize that in order to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic we must intensify our prevention, care, and treatment efforts within the Hemisphere. Our political leadership is essential to confront the stigma, discrimination, and fear, which deter people from being tested and from accessing treatment and care. We recognize that to confront the challenge posed by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it is necessary to continue increasing global cooperation efforts (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We are also concerned about emerging diseases and reemerging diseases, such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, tuberculosis, leprosy, Chagas, and others, bearing in mind the current economic, social, and environmental health contexts, the impact of recurrent natural disasters, and health problems associated with the unplanned growth of densely populated areas (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We are therefore committed to reinforcing promotion, prevention, control, and treatment programs, continuing to develop and strengthen technical cooperation strategies among the countries of the region, and to deepening technical cooperation with Pan-American Health Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other inter-American agencies and key actors, with a view to implementing integral public health activities for the control and eradication of these diseases (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We acknowledge that another major threat to the security of our people is HIV/AIDS. We are united in our resolve to adopt multi-sectoral strategies and to develop our cooperation to combat this disease and its consequences (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. Commit, at the highest level, to combat HIV/AIDS and its consequences, recognizing that this disease is a major threat to the security of our people; in particular seek to increase resources for prevention, education and access to care and treatment as well as research; adopt a multi sectoral and gender sensitive approach to education, to prevention and to controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) by developing participatory programs especially with high risk populations, and by fostering partnerships with civil society including the mass media, the business sector and voluntary organizations; promote the use of ongoing horizontal mechanisms of cooperation to secure the safety of blood; increase national access to treatment of HIV/AIDS related illnesses through measures striving to ensure the provision and affordability of drugs, including reliable distribution and delivery systems and appropriate financing mechanisms consistent with national laws and international agreements acceded to; continue dialogue with the pharmaceutical industry and the private sector in general to encourage the availability of affordable antiretrovirals and other drugs for HIV/AIDS treatment, and promote strategies to facilitate the sharing of drug pricing information including, where appropriate, that available in national data banks; promote and protect the human rights of all persons living with HIV/AIDS, without gender or age discrimination; utilize the June 2001 UN General Assembly Special Session on AIDS as a platform to generate support for hemispheric and national HIV/AIDS programs; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote healthy childhood development through: prenatal care, expanded immunization programs, control of respiratory and diarrheal diseases by conducting programs such as the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses, health education, physical fitness, access to safe and nutritious foods, and the promotion of breast feeding; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Implement community based health care, prevention and promotion programs to reduce health risks and non communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and including hypertension, cancer, diabetes, mental illness as well as the impact of violence and accidents on health; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Participate actively in the negotiation of a proposed Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; develop and adopt policies and programs to reduce the consumption of tobacco products, especially as it affects children; share best practices and lessons learned in the development of programs designed to raise public awareness, particularly for adolescents, about the health risks associated with tobacco, alcohol and drugs; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Seek, through public and private efforts, or partnerships between them, 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; and by supporting 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. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Give the highest priority to reducing infant malnutrition, concentrating efforts on health, nutrition and education programs for the nutrition of infants, particularly those less than three, as those are the years of greatest vulnerability. To that end, emphasis shall be given to adequate nutrition and the correction of specific nutritional deficiencies, specifically with vitamin and mineral supplements combined with greater use of vaccinations and immunizations and monitoring during the growth of the child. (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  • Initiative 2. Strengthen national programs, and those of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), for the control of emerging and recrudescent infectious-contagious diseases and for immunization against diseases of public health importance, for example, those diseases related to environmental deterioration. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative 6. Promote the inclusion of disease outbreak response and disaster planning, preparedness, and mitigation in national development plans; seek to establish, as appropriate, regional emergency response teams and regularly test contingency plans; and promote the establishment of appropriate building construction codes that include regulatory and enforcement mechanisms through the sharing of technical information and expertise. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • 17.3 Endorse a basic package of clinical, preventive and public health services consistent with World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Bank recommendations and with the Program of Action agreed to at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. The package will address child, maternal and reproductive health interventions, including prenatal, delivery and postnatal care, family planning information and services, and HIV/AIDS prevention, as well as immunizations and programs combating the other major causes of infant mortality. The plans and programs will be developed according to a mechanism to be decided upon by each country. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 17.4 Develop or update country action plans or programs for reforms to achieve child, maternal and reproductive health goals and ensure universal, non-discriminatory access to basic services, including health education and preventive health care programs. The plans and programs will be developed according to a mechanism to be decided upon by each country. Reforms would encompass essential community-based services for the poor, the disabled, and indigenous groups; stronger public health infrastructure; alternative means of financing, managing and providing services; quality assurance; and greater use of non-governmental actors and organizations. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 17.6 Take the opportunity of the annual PAHO Directing Council Meeting of Western Hemisphere Ministers of Health, with participation of the IDB and donors, to develop a program to combat endemic and communicable diseases as well as a program to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to identify sources of funding. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).



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