Health Surveillance and Disease Management / Veterinary Public Health

Final Report and Proceedings: 14th Inter-American Meeting, at the Ministerial Level, on Health and Agriculture (RIMSA 14)

(Mexico City, Mexico, 21–22 April 2005)


Full Text (312 pp, PDF, 3 Mb)
- Preface by Mirta Roses Periago, Director, Pan American Health Organization (text to right)
- Address by his Excellency Vicente Fox Quesada, President of Mexico

Welcoming Remarks
- Mirta Roses Periago, Director, Pan American Health Organization
- Luis Ernesto Derbez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico

- Jaime Alfonso Campos Quiroga, Minister of Agriculture of Chile
- Chelston W. D. Brathwaite, Director General, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
- Bernard Vallat, Director General, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
- Keynote Address: Julio Frenk, Secretary of Health of Mexico, "Twenty-five Years after the Declaration of Alma-Ata: Cooperation between the Agriculture and Health Sectors in Primary Care"

Panel on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Related to the Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger: Primary Health Care Strategies and Local Development
- Perspective on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to the Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Community Participation in the Food Production Chain
- Appropriate Technology: Small Producers and Food Security
- Intersectoral Collaboration for the Promotion of Agriculture, Livestock Production, and Human Development: The Case of Uruguay
- Special Support to Small Island States in Capacity-Building for Food and International Trade

Panel on International Cooperation on Emerging Issues in Agriculture And Health
- Current Situation of New and Emerging Animal Diseases: The International Zoosanitary Code as a Basis for Policy and Trade
- Initiatives on Food Safety, Food Security, and Transboundary Animal Diseases
- Public and Private Sector Roles of Agriculture and Health in Eradicating Hunger and Extreme Poverty in Rural Areas: Mobilizing International Cooperation
- Inter-Country Cooperation in International Food Trade: Implications for Health and Development
- Neglected Diseases in Neglected Populations, with Emphasis on Zoonoses
- Central American Regional Cooperation in Health and Agriculture: The Catalyzing Role of the Specialized Regional Agencies

Panel on Mandates of the Summits: Advancing Human Security through Innovative Approaches Centered on Local Development
- Financial Initiatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Support of the Mandates of the Summits of the Americas in Rural and Social Development
- Agricultural Health and Sustainable Rural Development
- Agriculture and Livestock Policy: Science and Technology Applied to the Food Chain
- Empowering and Expanding the Role of Women in Food Security and Local Development
- Role of Local Organizations and Indigenous Communities as Agents for the Mobilization of Basic Community Services
- Rural Poverty: Health and Lifestyle

Special Presentations
- Converging Human and Animal Health Expertise and Resources in the Global Response to New and Emerging Zoonoses (Avian Influenza and SARS)
- Elimination of Human Rabies in Latin America: Current Status

- Report on the 10th Meeting of the Hemispheric Committee for the Eradication of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (COHEFA 10)
- Report on the 4th Meeting of the Pan American Commission for Food Safety (COPAIA 4)
- Closing Address: "Strengthening Strategies for Promoting the Safety of Foods of Agricultural Origin," Javier Usabiaga Arroyo, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development,
Fisheries, and Food of Mexico

- Agenda
- List of Participants
- List of Abbreviations and Acronyms


- About RIMSA
- RIMSA 14 Index

PAHO Links
- Veterinary Public Health Unit


- Pan American Center for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (PANAFTOSA)
- Zoonoses / Animal Health
- Rabies
- Avian Influenza
- International Health Regulations (IHR)
- Panalimentos
- Food Safety
- Codex Alimentarius


Epidemiological Surveillance System (SIEPI)


Epidemiological Surveillance System for Rabies (SIRVERA)


Virtual Library in Veterinary Public Health (VHL)

WHO Links
- Zoonoses and Veterinary Public Health
- Human and Animal Rabies
- Avian Influenza
- International Health Regulations
- Food Safety

Preface by PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago   |   Resolutions

The 14th Inter-American Meeting, at the Ministerial Level, on Health and Agriculture (RIMSA 14) took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico in Mexico City, on 21 and 22 April 2005, at a time when the Pan American Health Organization was embarking upon a period of institutional transformation aimed at enabling it to respond better to the needs of countries and utilize new modalities of technical cooperation. The overarching theme of RIMSA 14 was "Agriculture and Health: Synergy for Local Development." The aim in selecting that theme was to promote stronger intersectoral partnerships in order to meet, through local development, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.

An intersectoral approach to health and agriculture is crucial in order to understand and to take action to prevent and control zoonotic diseases that pose a potential threat to the public health and economy of countries—in particular emerging diseases such as avian influenza, which was one of the topics discussed during the meeting. In the past decade, 75% of the new diseases that have affected human beings have been caused by pathogens originating in animals or animal products. Accordingly, the agenda for the meeting included topics related to trade in food and the International Zoosanitary Code.

In addition to the new threats, the Region is faced with an unfinished agenda of neglected zoonotic diseases that affect mainly vulnerable and underserved populations. This situation constitutes a challenge for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), although efforts in that regard may well receive a boost from the renewed commitment to the Alma-Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care, another topic discussed at the meeting.

During the meeting, the delegates also received the recommendations of the 4th Meeting of the Pan American Commission for Food Safety (Comisión Panamericana de Inocuidad de los Alimentos / COPAIA 4) and the 10th Meeting of the Hemispheric Committee for the Eradication of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Comisión Hemisférica para la Eradicación de la Fiebre Aftosa / COHEFA 10). RIMSA 14 was marked by very positive discussions and debates in regard to veterinary public health. The meeting adopted eight resolutions (see below).

Remarkable progress has been achieved on issues relating to foot-and-mouth disease, canine-transmitted rabies, and food safety, but much remains to be done in order to control other zoonoses and carry out new mandates. The strengthening of intersectoral work is already a reality in the Americas, however. Today, we have new institutional mechanisms, such as the Inter-American Group for the Eradication of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Grupo Internacional para la Erradicación de la Fiebre Aftosa / GIEFA), which involves both the private and the public sectors, and provides support for the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease in the Americas. Another mechanism is COPAIA, which also brings together representatives of both the public and the private sectors in an effort to improve food safety through an integrated food-chain approach.

I should like to express my deep gratitude to His Excellency Vicente Fox, President of Mexico, for the support of his Government and for his personal participation in the meeting. I also want to thank Mexican Government ministers Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Julio Frenk, Secretary of Health; and Dr. Javier Usabiaga, Minister of Agriculture. I am grateful, as well, to the President of RIMSA 13, Dr. Jaime Alfonso Quiroga, Minister of Agriculture of Chile, and to the RIMSA 14 delegates for the support provided for this important forum.

It is my pleasure to present this publication, which continues the series of RIMSA reports that PAHO has been publishing for 37 years.


  1. RIMSA14.R1: Hemispheric Eradication of Foot-and-Mouth Disease
    1. To congratulate the countries of the Region for the advances achieved in the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease, as well as for the preservation of the diseasefree areas in the hemisphere.
    2. To endorse the conclusions and recommendations of COHEFA 10, in particular the Plan of Action 2005–2009 of the Hemispheric Plan for the Elimination of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Plan Hemisférico de Erradicación de la Fiebre Aftosa / PHEFA).
    3. To urge the countries in which foot-and-mouth disease persists to increase their efforts to achieve its elimination by the target date.
    4. To urge the Member States to renew their political, technical, administrative, and financial commitments, both at the public and private levels, to meet the goals of the aforementioned Plan of Action.
    5. To congratulate the Inter-American Group for the Eradication of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (GIEFA), the veterinary services, the private sector of the Region, and the international organizations for their work, and to urge them to continue their efforts to implement the Plan.
  2. RIMSA14.R2: 4th Meeting of the Pan American Commission for Food Safety (COPAIA 4)
    1. To endorse the conclusions, recommendations, and agreements of COPAIA 4; in particular, to establish under the leadership of PAHO:
      1. a self-evaluation system for food safety programs at the country level;
      2. effective intervention projects throughout the food chain for the production of safe food, using evidence-based scientific analysis;
      3. local food safety programs, through the Healthy and Productive Municipalities initiatives; and
      4. programs for monitoring food and for epidemiological surveillance of foodborne diseases, with effective laboratory involvement.
    2. To urge the Member States to offer political and financial support for implementation of the COPAIA 4 recommendations.
    3. To encourage the countries of the Region of the Americas to institute a Healthy Food Day, as Uruguay has done.
    4. To propose at the next World Health Assembly that food safety be considered as the theme for World Health Day.
    5. To call on the ministers of agriculture, livestock, and health to reaffirm their commitment to intersectoral action in matters related to food safety in order to reduce risks for human health, tourism, and the food trade.
    6. To request the Director to intensify technical cooperation in food safety, specifically at the local level, as part of the productive and healthy communities approaches.
  3. RIMSA14.R3 Elimination of Human Rabies
    1. To urge the Member States to:
      1. reaffirm their political commitments to ensure that sufficient financial support is available to consolidate the final phase in the elimination of human rabies transmitted by dogs in Latin America;
      2. reaffirm the international commitment to give priority support to countries with cases of human and canine rabies to achieve its elimination;
      3. identify resources to help reinforce activities in the areas of surveillance, epidemiological characterization, and control of rabies in wildlife;
      4. organize local measures to prevent the reintroduction of rabies transmitted by dogs in localities and areas that are disease-free, and strengthen the role of municipal governments in controlling stray dogs; and
      5. improve canine rabies control legislation with regard to reporting of the disease, the vaccination of dogs, and control of the canine population.
    2. To endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the 10th Meeting of Directors of National Rabies Control Programs of Latin America (REDIPRA 10), especially the request that the Director:
      1. prepare the corresponding Plan of Action for 2005–2009;
      2. invite representatives of the agriculture and livestock sector to future REDIPRA meetings to guarantee the intersectoral coordination essential for the identification, diagnosis, and rapid response to outbreaks of rabies in wildlife; and
      3. improve educational activities directed to humane societies and the general public, with a view to maintaining the gains achieved and moving toward the eradication of human rabies transmitted by domestic animals—activities such as responsible pet ownership and care, vaccination, and other preventive activities.
  4. RIMSA14.R4: The Global Risk of New and Emerging Zoonoses
    1. To urge the Member States to:
      1. review their policies and reinforce their strategies to respond to new and emerging zoonoses, promoting their speedy identification and confirmation, official notification, and containment;
      2. use the International Zoosanitary Code and International Health Regulations as the basis for their policies on animal diseases and human health, respectively;
      3. promote the coordinated mobilization and deployment of veterinary and human medical services for the adoption of prevention and control measures, especially at the local level, and the strengthening of national zoonosis control programs;
      4. consider hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and forgotten or uncontrolled zoonoses that constitute important health risks in the Member States, such as Chagas disease in several countries, priorities in the Region; and
      5. ensure that subregional cooperation strategies for addressing these problems are maintained, especially the Southern Cone Project for the Control and Surveillance of Hydatidosis.
    2. To request the Director to examine and strengthen technical cooperation with the Member States in the formulation of a plan of action and mobilization of the respective resources for an effective regional, national, and local response to emerging zoonoses that constitute a global threat.
    3. To emphatically urge the international organizations responsible for animal and human health, such as the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure the coordination of their mandates and the pooling of resources to offer a uniform, coherent response to the threat of new and emerging zoonoses.
  5. RIMSA14.R5: Agriculture and Health Synergy: Food Security and Local Development
    1. To urge Member States to:
      1. promote the mobilization of public and private sector resources in order to provide services for the prevention and control of neglected zoonoses, which affect predominantly poor populations;
      2. work together, especially with small island states, in developing models based on the successful experience of productive municipalities to promote food security and food safety at the local level;
    2. To request PAHO and other international or bilateral organizations and various funding agencies to provide special assistance towards:
      1. developing comprehensive approaches for the prevention and control of neglected zoonoses, particularly in areas in which they are endemic, within the framework of rural development projects; and
      2. infrastructure development in the small island states of the Caribbean to enable them to comply with international standards for food safety and trade.
  6. RIMSA14.R6: Advancing Food Security and Local Development through Innovative Approaches
    1. To urge Member States to:
      1. Develop the necessary local framework to promote and mobilize greater participation of indigenous populations and women’s organizations with a view to ensuring access to safe food and basic community services;
      2. Endeavor to ensure fulfillment of the State’s obligation to protect access to productive resources and affordable financing, to enable women and indigenous rural populations to achieve self-sufficiency with regard to food, and maximize the rural contribution to national development; and
      3. Promote policy and mechanisms to narrow the technological divide, improve productivity, increase access, and promote trade along the food chain involving producers, processors, packagers, distributors, and consumers.
    2. To request the Director to sustain her support and commitment to assisting Member States in fulfilling the mandates of the Summits and PAHO, using innovative approaches in the agriculture and health sectors, with regard to the empowerment of women and the participation of indigenous people in local development and food security.
  7. RIMSA14.R7: Resources for the Plan of Action on Food Safety
    1. To urge the Member States to:
      1. present Document RIMSA14/6 as a frame of reference to regional and international cooperation agencies, subregional common markets, and multilateral and other donor agencies for the implementation of the aforementioned plan;
      2. include universities and research and academic training centers in the design and execution of projects; and
      3. present to the World Health Assembly in May 2005 the concerns of the countries of the Region of the Americas about financing for the activities included in the RIMSA 14 mandates on food safety.
    2. To request the Director to:
      1. facilitate internal coordination of PAHO resources for cooperation in food safety;
      2. promote, together with other regional and international cooperation agencies the mobilization of external resources through support for the preparation of specific priority projects; and
      3. submit these projects, in coordination with the countries, for the consideration of regional and subregional economic forums such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Secretariat of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and others.
  8. RIMSA14.R8: Expression of Appreciation to the Government of Mexico
    1. To unanimously express sincere appreciation and profound gratitude to the authorities of the United Mexican States, led by His Excellency, the President of Mexico, and the Secretaries of Foreign Affairs, Health, and Agriculture.

*Resolutions abridged uniformly to only include portion following "Resolves to:" in each of the eight resolutions. For the full text of each one, with all background included, see pp. 48–56 of the book.