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Visit of WHO’s Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to Brazil


Brasilia, June 22-26, 2009.  Benedetto Saraceno, WHO’s Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse was the special guest at the X Meeting of the collegiate of mental health coordinators and training for new decision makers that took place in the Brazilian capital.  Hugo Cohen, PAHO´S Sub-regional Advisor of Mental Health for South America, also participated. 


Brazilian Ministry of Health authorities and PAHO Representative in Brazil, Diego Victoria, were in charge of opening the event.  In front of a sizeable audience, Dr. Saraceno lectured about WHO’s Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), followed by rich and intense debate.  He also gave a talk at the University of Brazil and visited community mental health care centers in Recife and São Paulo. Pedro Gabriel Delgado, the Director of Mental Health of the Brazilian Ministry of Health, was present in all of the activities. 


An important event was the meeting between PAHO and Jose Gomes Temporao, the Brazilian Minister of Health.  The meeting was highly positive, and demonstrated the strength of the coordination that exists between PAHO/WHO and the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the importance of PAHO/WHO’s cooperation in achieving specific goals. 


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