In September 2017, at the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference (69th Session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization for the Americas), PAHO Member States unanimously approved the Policy on Ethnicity and Health.
With this policy, the Member States agreed to guarantee an intercultural approach to health and equitable treatment of indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, Roma populations, and members of other ethnic groups. They also embraced the need for inclusive, collaborative solutions to address the gaps in access to health for these populations.
Representatives from indigenous peoples, Afrodescendants, and Roma populations, ministries of health, and multilateral organizations participated in the development of this policy and committed to supporting its implementation.
The Policy on Ethnicity and Health makes the Region of the Americas the first World Health Organization Region to acknowledge the importance of adopting an intercultural approach to address inequities in health.