Bogota, Colombia - Last March 1st and 2nd, the first Regional Meeting on Viral Hepatitis organized by PAHO took place in Bogota, Colombia. The reason for the meeting was the discussion of a Regional strategy and action plan for an integrated approach to viral hepatitis in Latin America and the Caribbean. The meeting included the participation of the WHO, the CSIH (Canadian Society for International Health), the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the WHA (World Hepatitis Alliance) and seven invited Member States (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica and Peru).
During the meeting, the current situation of viral hepatitis in the Region was assessed. With this objective, the main activities performed in the Region and in the countries were presented by PAHO members and invited Member States. Successful experiences in vaccination, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of cases outstood from some countries. Other countries stood for their motivation and interest in the inclusion or improvement of viral hepatitis in their national health programs. To complete the situation analysis, WHO and external partners shared their technical knowledge about hepatitis. Besides the initial situation analysis, PAHO’s work proposal for the elaboration of a Regional strategy and action plan was discussed in the meeting. Also Regional priorities for collaboration were determined. Suggestions and comments from all participants were essential for the success of the meeting
As a result of the meeting, PAHO developed a Regional strategy and action plan, which is now being shared and in consultation in the 35 countries and territories of the Region of the Americas.