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REGIONAL HEALTH OBSERVATORY


Health Themes

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updated 10/25/2010

Values, Vision and Mission of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau

The Pan American Sanitary Bureau (PASB), the oldest international health agency in the world, is the Secretariat of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The Bureau is committed to providing technical support and leadership to PAHO Member States as they pursue their goal of Health for All and the values therein. Toward that end, the following values, vision, and mission guide the Bureau's work.
VALUES
 

Equity

Striving for fairness and justice by eliminating differences that are unnecessary and avoidable.
   
   
Excellence Achieving the highest quality in what we do.
   
   
Solidarity Promoting shared interests and responsibilities and enabling collective efforts to achieve common goals.
   
   
Respect

Embracing the dignity and diversity of individuals, groups and countries.

   
   
Integrity Assuring transparent, ethical, and accountable performance.
   
   
Vision

The Pan American Sanitary Bureau will be the major catalyst for ensuring that all the peoples of the Americas enjoy optimal health and contribute to the well being of their families and communities.

 
Mission

To lead strategic collaborative efforts among Member States and other partners to promote equity in health, to combat disease, and to improve the quality of, and lengthen, the lives of the peoples of the Americas.

Click here to download a poster with the Vision, Mission and Values of the Pan American Health Organization.

Statement of Quota Contributions due from Member States

Declaración de las cuotas de los Estados Miembros

icon PAHO Quotas

Pan American Health Organization
Organización Panamericana de la Salud

Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela

 

The Pan American Sanitary Code:
Toward a Hemispheric Health Policy
1924 - 75th Anniversary - 1999

PDF file of the The Pan American Sanitary Code - Toward a Hemispheric Health Policy

The Pan American Sanitary Code was signed ad referendum by 18 countries of the Americas in the assembly hall of the former Academy of Medical, Physical, and Natural Sciences (now the Dr. Carlos J. Finlay Museum of Science History) on 14 November 1924 in Havana, Cuba, during the Seventh Pan American Sanitary Conference. The Code, which was eventually ratified by all the republics of the Americas and remains in force today, represents the greatest achievement in health policy-making in the American hemisphere and the cul-mination of decades of international initiatives aimed at prolonging people’s lives and ensuring their happiness.

icon The Pan American Sanitary Code: Toward a Hemispheric Health Policy (676.79 kB)

Pan American Sanitary Code


icon Pan American Sanitary Code (22.89 kB)

The code was signed in Havana, Cuba, on 14 November 1924, at the VII Pan American Sanitary Conference and ratified by the Governments of the twenty-one American Republics (see Appendix I). The Code was amended by the Additional Protocol to the Pan American Sanitary Code (1952), to abrogate Articles 2, 9, 10, 11, 16 to 53 inclusive, 61, and 62, which were extracted in full infra. For a complete text of the Code, please refer to Publication 193 of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (March 1943).

CHAPTER I

Objects of the Code and Definitions of Terms Used Therein

Article 1. The objects of this code are:
(a) The prevention of the international spread of communicable infections of human beings.
(b) The promotion of cooperative measures for the prevention of the introduction and spread of disease into and from the territories of the Signatory Governments.
(c) The standardization of the collection of morbidity and mortality statistics by the Signatory Governments.
(d) The stimulation of the mutual interchange of information which may be of value in improving public health and combating the diseases of man.
(e) The standardization of the measures employed at places of entry, for the prevention of the introduction and spread of the communicable diseases of man, so that greater protection against them shall be achieved and unnecessary hindrance to international commerce and communication eliminated.

CHAPTER II

SECTION 1. NOTIFICATION AND SUBSEQUENT COMMUNICATIONS TO OTHER COUNTRIES

Article 3. Each of the Signatory Governments agrees to transmit to each of the other Signatory Governments and to the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, at intervals of not more than two weeks, a statement containing information as to the state of its public health, particularly that of its ports.
The following diseases are obligatorily reportable:
Plague, cholera, yellow fever, smallpox, typhus, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, acute epidemic poliomyelitis, epidemic lethargic encephalitis, influenza or epidemic la grippe, typhoid and paratyphoid fevers, and such other diseases as the Pan American Sanitary Bureau may, by resolution, add to the above list.

Article 4. Each Signatory Government agrees to notify adjacent countries and the Pan American Sanitary Bureau immediately by the most rapid available means of communication, of the appearance in its territory of an authentic or officially suspected case or cases of plague, cholera, yellow fever, smallpox, typhus, or any other dangerous contagion liable to spread through the intermediary agency of international commerce.

Article 5. This notification is to be accompanied, or very promptly followed, by the following additional information:
1. The area where the disease has appeared.
2. The date of its appearance, its origin, and its form.
3. The probable source or country from which it was introduced and the manner of introduction.
4. The number of confirmed cases and number of deaths.
5. The number of suspected cases and deaths.
6. In addition, for plague, the existence among rodents of plague, or of an unusual mortality among rodents; for yellow fever, the Aedes aegypti index of the locality.
7. The measures which have been applied for the prevention of the spread of the disease and its eradication.

Article 6. The notification and information prescribed in Articles 4 and 5 are to be addressed to diplomatic or consular representatives in the capital of the infected country, and to the Pan American Sanitary Bureau in Washington, which shall immediately transmit the information to all countries concerned.

Article 7. The notification and the information prescribed in Articles 3, 4, 5, and 6 are to be followed by further communications in order to keep other Governments informed as to the progress of the disease or diseases. These communications will be made at least once weekly, and will be as complete as possible, indicating in detail the measures employed to prevent the extension of the disease. The telegraph, cable, and radio will be employed for this purpose, except in those stances in which the data may be transmitted rapidly by mail. Reports by telegraph, cable, or radio will be confirmed by letter. Neighboring countries will endeavor to make special arrangements for the solution of local problems that do not involve widespread international interest.

Article 8. The Signatory Governments agree that in the event of the appearance of any of the following diseases, namely, cholera, yellow fever, plague, typhus fever, or other pestilential diseases in severe epidemic form in their territory, they will immediately put in force appropriate sanitary measures for the prevention of the international carriage of any of the said diseases therefrom by passengers, crew, cargo, and vessels, and mosquitoes, rats, and vermin that may be carried thereon, and will promptly notify each of the other Signatory Governments and the Pan American Sanitary Bureau as to the nature and extent of the sanitary measures which they have applied for the accomplishment of the requirements of this article.

SECTION 3. MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY STATISTICS

Article 12. The International Classification of the Causes of Death is adopted as the Pan American Classification of the Causes of Death, and shall be used by the signatory nations in the interchange of mortality and morbidity reports.

Article 13. The Pan American Sanitary Bureau is hereby authorized and directed to republish from time to time the Pan American Classification of the Causes of Death.

Article 14. Each of the Signatory Governments agrees to put in operation, at the earliest practical date, a system for the collection and tabulation of vital statistics which shall include:
1. A central statistical office presided over by a competent official.
2. The establishment of regional statistical offices.
3. The enactment of laws, decrees, or regulations requiring the prompt reporting of births, deaths, and communicable diseases, by health officers, physicians, midwives, and hospitals, and providing penalties for failure to make such reports.

Article 15. The Pan American Sanitary Bureau shall prepare and publish standard forms for the reporting of deaths and cases of communicable disease and all other vital statistics.

CHAPTER IX

The Pan American Sanitary Bureau: Functions and Duties

Article 54. The organization, functions, and duties of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau shall include those heretofore determined for the International Sanitary Bureau by the various international sanitary and other conferences of American Republics, and such additional administrative function and duties as may be hereafter determined by Pan American Sanitary Conferences.

Article 55. The Pan American Sanitary Bureau shall be the central coordinating sanitary agency of the various member republics of the Pan American Union, and the general collection and distribution center of sanitary information to and from said republics. For this purpose it shall, from time to time, designate representatives to visit and confer with the sanitary authorities of the various Signatory Governments on public health matters, and such repesentatives shall be given all available sanitary information in the countries visited by them in the course of their official visits and conferences.

Article 56. In addition, the Pan American Sanitary Bureau shall perform the following specific functions:
To supply to the sanitary authorities of the Signatory Governments through its publications, or in other appropriate manner, all available information relative to the actual status of the communicable diseases of man, new invasions of such diseases, the sanitary measures undertaken, and the progress effected in the control or eradication of such diseases; new methods for combating disease; morbidity and mortality statistics; public health organization and administration; progress in any of the branches of preventive medicine; and other pertinent information relative to sanitation and public health in any of its phases, including a bibliography of books and periodicals on public hygiene.
In order to more efficiently discharge its functions, it may undertake cooperative epidemiological and other studies; may employ, at headquarters and elsewhere, experts for this purpose; may stimulate and facilitate scientific research and the practical application of the results therefrom; and may accept gifts, benefactions, and bequests, which shall be accounted for in the manner now provided for the maintenance funds of the Bureau.

Article 57. The Pan American Sanitary Bureau shall advise and consult with the sanitary authorities of the various Signatory Commissions relative to public health problems, and the manner of interpreting and applying the provisions of this Code.

Article 58. Officials of the National Health Services may be designated as representatives, ex-officio, of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, in addition to their regular duties, and when so designated they may be empowered to act as sanitary representatives of one or more of the Signatory Governments when properly designated and accredited to so serve.

Article 59. Upon request of the sanitary authorities of any of the Signatory Governments, the Pan American Sanitary Bureau is authorized to take the necessary preparatory steps to bring about an exchange of professors, medical and health officers, experts or advisers in public health of any of the sanitary sciences, for the purpose of mutual aid and advancement in the protection of the public health of the Signatory Governments.

Article 60. For the purpose of discharging the functions and duties imposed upon the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, a fund of not less than $50,000 shall be collected by the Pan American Union, apportioned among the Signatory Governments on the same basis as are the expenses of the Pan American Union.

CHAPTER XII

Existing Treaties

Be it understood that this Code does not in any way abrogate or impair the validity or force of any existing treaty, convention, or agreement between any of the Signatory Governments and any other Government.

CHAPTER XIII

Transitory Disposition

Article 63. The Governments which may not have signed the present Convention are to be admitted to adherence thereto upon demand, notice of this adherence to be given through diplomatic channels to the Government of the Republic of Cuba.
Made and signed in the city of Havana, on the 14th day of the month of November, 1924, in two copies, in English and Spanish, respectively, which shall be deposited with the Department of Foreign Relations of the Republic of Cuba, in order that certified copies thereof, in both English and Spanish, may be made for transmission through diplomatic channels to each of the Signatory Governments.

2. ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY CODE (1927)

Approved ad referendum by the VIII Pan American Sanitary Conference, held at Lima, Peru, from 12 to 20 October 1927.

The ratifications of the Pan American Sanitary Code shall be deposited in the office of the Secretary of State of the Republic of Cuba and the Cuban Government shall communicate these ratifications to the other Signatory States, which communication shall constitute exchange or ratifications. The convention shall become effective in each of the Signatory States on the date of ratification thereof by said State, and shall remain in force without limitation of time, each one of the Signatory States or Adherent States reserving the right to withdraw from the convention by giving in due form a year’s notice in advance to the Government of the Republic of Cuba.

3. ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY CODE (1952)

Adopted Resolution XLVI by the Directing Council at its VI Meeting held in Havana, Cuba, from 15–24 September 1952.

The Representatives of the Governments Signatories to the Pan American Sanitary Code, being duly authorized by virtue of the full powers which have been accorded to them and which have been found to be in good and due form, sign the present Protocol, in the name of their respective Governments, in the English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French languages, on the date and at the place appearing below their signatures.

Article 1

It is agreed to abrogate Articles 2, 9, 10, 11, 16 to 53 inclusive, 61, and 62 of the Pan American Sanitary Code, signed at Havana on 14 November 1924 at the VII Pan American Sanitary Conference, all of which relate to international traffic.

Article II

Henceforth, any periodic amendment that it should be appropriate to make in the titles, sections, or articles of the Pan American Sanitary Code shall be the responsibility of the Pan American Sanitary Conference; for any such amendment to be valid, the provisions of the Constitution of the Pan American Sanitary Organization (renamed “Pan American Health Organization” by decision of the XV Pan American Sanitary Conference, September–October 1958) shall be carried out.

Article III

The original of the present Protocol shall be deposited with the Pan American Union, which shall transmit certified copies to the Governments for purposes of ratification.

Article IV

The present Protocol shall be ratified by the Signatory States in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Pan American Union, which shall notify the Signatory Governments of such deposit.

Article V

This Protocol shall become effective on the first of October 1952 for those States which ratify this instrument before the said date. It shall become effective with respect to the remaining States on the date of ratification thereof.

BASIC DOCUMENTS of the Pan American Health Organization, Eighteenth Edition

This publication includes the basic documents pertaining to the governance of the Pan American Health Organization, including the Pan American Sanitary Code; the constitutions of the Pan American Health Organization and of the World Health Organization; the Rules of Procedure of the Pan American Sanitary Conference, the Directing Council, and the Executive Committee; and the Financial Regulations of the Pan American Health Organization.

The Basic Documents are a valuable tool for a wide range of users, particularly public health administrators and policy makes in a governmental, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental organizations. This publication in available in English and in Spanish, and the electronic version can be accessed through the Pan American Health Organization's website (www.paho.org).

icon Basic Documents of the Pan American Health Organization, Eighteenth Edition

From the icon Constitution of the Pan American Health Organization (28.35 kB)

Article 2. Membership:

A. All American States are entitled to membership in the Organization. (American States which are Members of the Organization are hereinafter called Member Governments.)

B. Territories or groups of territories within the Western Hemisphere which are not responsible for the conduct of their international relations shall have the right to be represented and to participate in the Organization. The nature and extent of the rights and obligations of these territories or groups of territories in the Organization shall be determined in each case by the Directing Council afterconsultation with the Government or other authorities having responsibility for their international relations (hereinafter called Participating Governments).

It is understood that Member Governments having under their jurisdiction subordinate territories and peoples within the Western Hemisphere will apply the provisions of the Pan American Sanitary Code and of this Constitution to such territories and peoples.

Member States

Date of Admission

Antigua and Barbuda 20 September 1982
Argentina 27 September 1937
Bahamas 08 October 1974
Barbados 02 October 1967
Belize 20 September 1982
Bolivia 22 March 1929
Brazil 29 October 1929
Canada 27 September 1971
Chile 03 October 1929
Colombia 21 June 1933
Costa Rica 13 December 1926
Cuba 26 June 1925
Dominica 21 September 1981
Dominican Republic 18 November 1929
Ecuador 27 September 1930
El Salvador 28 May 1926
Grenada 29 September 1977
Guatemala 10 May 1933
Guyana 02 October 1967
Haiti 25 June 1926
Honduras 15 January 1957
Jamaica 23 August 1962
Mexico 01 March 1929
Nicaragua 17 December 1925
Panama 09 March 1929
Paraguay 14 June 1939
Peru 20 November 1926
Saint Lucia 22 September 1980
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 21 September 1981
St. Kitts and Nevis 24 September 1984
Suriname 29 September 1976
Trinidad and Tobago 20 September 1963
United States of America 28 March 1925
Uruguay 14 December 1928
Venezuela 13 March 1933
Participating States Date of Admission
France October 1951
The Netherlands October 1951
United Kingdom October 1951
Associate Members Date of Admission
Puerto Rico September 1992
Aruba September 2012
Curaçao September 2012
Sint Maarten September 2012
Observer States Date of Admission
Spain September 1980
Portugal September 1986

Constitution of the Pan American Health Organization


icon Constitution of the Pan American Health Organization (28.35 kB)

Adopted by the Directing Council at its I Meeting, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 24 September to 2 October 1947. Amendments approved by the Directing Council at its XIII Meeting, Resolution XXXVII (1961); at its XVI Meeting, Resolution XXIV (1965); at its XVIII Meeting, Resolution II (1968); at the XX Pan American Sanitary Conference, Resolution I (1978); and at the XLI Meeting of the Directing Council, Resolution VIII (1999).

Preamble

Progress in the sciences of public health and medicine together with new and wider concepts of the responsibilities of Governments in matters of health makes it essential to broaden the scope of international health work in the Western Hemisphere and to develop and strengthen the Pan American Sanitary Bureau in order that it may be able to carry out fully the obligations imposed by this progress.

Acting in accordance with the Final Act of the XII Pan American Sanitary Conference, the Directing Council hereby adopts the following Constitution for the Pan American Health Organization.

CHAPTER I

THE ORGANIZATION

Article 1. Purposes:

The fundamental purposes of the Pan American Health Organization (hereinafter called the Organization) shall be to promote and coordinate efforts of the countries of the Western Hemisphere to combat disease, lengthen life, and promote the physical and mental health of the people.

Article 2. Membership:

A. All American States are entitled to membership in the Organization. (American States which are Members of the Organization are hereinafter called Member Governments.)

B. Territories or groups of territories within the Western Hemisphere which are not responsible for the conduct of their international relations shall have the right to be represented and to participate in the Organization. The nature and extent of the rights and obligations of these territories or groups of territories in the Organization shall be determined in each case by the Directing Council afterconsultation with the Government or other authorities having responsibility for their international relations (hereinafter called Participating Governments).

It is understood that Member Governments having under their jurisdiction subordinate territories and peoples within the Western Hemisphere will apply the provisions of the Pan American Sanitary Code and of this Constitution to such territories and peoples.

Article 3. Organs:

The Organization shall comprise:

  1. The Pan American Sanitary Conference (hereinafter called the Conference);
  2. The Directing Council (hereinafter called the Council);
  3. The Executive Committee of the Directing Council (hereinafter called the Executive Committee); and
  4. The Pan American Sanitary Bureau (hereinafter called the Bureau).

CHAPTER II

THE CONFERENCE

Article 4. Functions:

A. The Conference shall be the supreme governing authority of the Organization.

B. The Conference shall determine the general policies of the Organization....


Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
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