|87th Anniversary of the Pan American Sanitary Code|
November 14 marks the 87th anniversary of the Pan American Sanitary Code. Signed in Havana, Cuba, at the 7th Pan American Sanitary Conference in 1924, the code defined the functions and duties of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (secretariat of the Pan American Health Organization) and established responsibilities and procedures for countries to report disease outbreaks among themselves. The code also promoted standardization in prevention and control measures and for the collection of morbidity and mortality data. It was originally signed by 18 countries but was later ratified by all the countries of the Americas.
Signatories of the 1924 Pan American Sanitary Code
Amended in 1927 and 1952, the final version assigns the following responsibilities to the Pan American Sanitary Bureau:
The signing of the Pan American Sanitary Code in 1924 represented the culmination of several decades of Pan-American initiatives aimed at protecting and promoting international public health in the hemisphere. The code remains in force today, governing PAHO’s functioning and reflecting the spirit, process and importance of ongoing hemispheric cooperation in health.