What: Health authorities and experts from different countries of the Americas will discuss best practices in mobilizing political and social commitment on prevention and control of tuberculosis, especially in large cities, as well as measures to reduce illness and deaths from TB. The event, in observance of World TB Day, is being organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
When: March 19, 2013, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Where: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) HQ, Room B
525 23rd St. NW, Washington, DC (Corner 23rd St. & Virginia Ave)
- Dr. Carissa Etienne, PAHO Director
- Dr. Marcos Espinal, Area Manager, Health Surveillance and Disease Prevention and Control, PAHO
- Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Assistant Administrator for Global Health, USAID
- Dr. José Teruel, PAHO Assistant Director
- Dr. José del Carmen Sara, Health Vice-minister of Peru
- Dr. Bheri S. Ramsaran, Minister of Health of Guyana
- Dr. Carlos Derman, Assistant Mayor of Guarulhos, São Paulo, Brazil
- Dr. Ana Zulema Jimenez Gómez, Chief of Health Interventions in the Department of Public Health of Bogotá, Colombia
- Dr. Mirtha del Granado, TB Regional Advisor, PAHO
How: In person or online at: www.paho.org/virtual/healthsurveillance
Context: Although significant strides have been made in TB prevention and control in the Americas, the disease continues to be a major public health threat. In Latin America and the Caribbean, TB is the second-leading infectious cause of death, after HIV/AIDS. In 2011, some 268,000 new cases and 30,000 TB deaths were reported in the Americas. Experts believe, however, that in the same period, some 60,000 new TB cases remained undiagnosed, most of them in urban areas.
The burden of TB is higher in urban areas due to poor living conditions, including overcrowding and other environmental challenges, as well as economic inequality, unemployment, and violence. In Latin American cities, one in four residents lives in poverty. Through political and social partnerships — at both the national and municipal levels—prevention and control of TB can be improved through multisectoral strategies that emphasize education, increased access to health services, improved living conditions, and the provision of sanitation services in marginalized areas.