The South American Council of Health, comprising the Ministers of Health of member countries of the Union of South American Nations, held its second regular meeting between 29 and April 30, 2010, in Cuenca, Ecuador. The meeting provided an opportunity for ministers to exchange experiences and proposals regarding the integration of the countries of the region. Several resolutions were adopted on pressing issues such as Chagas disease, vaccination against H1N1 influenza (2009), dengue, and emergencies and disasters.
A resolution was adopted pledging assistance to Haiti following the January 12 earthquake. The ministers committed to assist Haiti in several areas and in partnership with the countries of the Caribbean. The plan was developed following the International Donors’ Conference in March in New York, where action plans were outlined for rebuilding Haiti.
The Ministers of Health also approved an action plan for 2010–2015 which, among other things, addresses emergencies and disasters in light of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and the influenza pandemic in 2009. These events demonstrate the need to strengthen health sector preparedness and response and mechanisms to coordinate international assistance.
The Ministers agreed to develop a network of offices for emergencies and disasters, which should be integrated with networks existing in the Andean region and MERCOSUR.