Briefing Session: Accelerating Actions for NCDs through Primary Health Care

Briefing Session: Accelerating Actions for NCDs through Primary Health Care
Accelerating Actions for NCDs through Primary Health Care

60th Directing Council

Washington, D.C., 25-29 September 2023​

Accelerating Action for NCDs through Primary Health Care

Briefing Session - 27 September 2023

Pan American Health Organization, HQ - 12:30-2:00 p.m.


Noncommunicable diseases are the leading causes of death (81% of all deaths) in the Region of the Americas, and an estimated 240 million adults in the Americas are living with at least one NCD requiring access to continuous care. Cost-effective NCD prevention and control initiatives have been well established and include policy and regulatory interventions, as well as screening, diagnosis, and treatment for the most common NCDs through Primary Health Care.

After 12 years of global and regional NCD plans of actions, targets, and monitoring, with gains adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, no country in the Region of the Americas is on track to meet all nine global NCD targets. For NCD management, significant gaps persist in access, coverage, and quality of health services. For example, only 20/35 (57%) countries report having guidelines/protocols for the management of the most common NCDs based on the Primary Health Care approach, and only 9/35 (26%) countries report having the necessary medicines for glycaemic control, and counseling for eligible persons at high risk, to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Coupled with the disruptions in health services and increases in foregone care as a consequence of COVID-19, there is an urgent need now to recover and recuperate NCD prevention and control services, while accelerating the expansion of such services through Primary Health Care, leveraging innovations adopted during the pandemic.

The objectives of this briefing session are to:

  1. Advocate for accelerated action to expand equitable access to comprehensive services, health technologies, and interventions for the prevention and control of NCDs at the national, subnational, and local levels, based on Primary Health Care;
  2. Present country experiences on the expansion and integration of NCDs within Primary Health Care, including innovations adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and
  3. Launch the PAHO Initiative "Better Care for NCDs, Accelerating Action for NCDs in Primary Health Care".



Moderator: Dr. Marcos Espinal, Assistant Director, a.i.

  • Opening remarks.
    • Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr., Director, PAHO.
  • Presentation of the Initiative.
    • Dr. Anselm Hennis, NMH Director, PAHO.
  • Presentation on Innovations in NCD care bundles through the PAHO Regional Revolving Funds.
    • Mr. Santiago Cornejo, Executive Manager,Regional Revolving Funds, PAHO.
  • Ministerial Country Panel.
    • Expanding Primary Health Care for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, including addressing the Social Determinants of Health.
      • Hon. Dr. Ximena Aguilera, Minister of Health, Chile.
    • Improving blood pressure control through accelerating HEARTS.
      • Mr. Dr. Francisco José Alabí Montoya, Minister of Health, El Salvador.
    • Leveraging innovation in digital solutions, including for NCD control and prevention.
      • Dr. The Honourable Christopher Tufton, MP. Minister of Health, Jamaica.
  • Discussion.
  • Closing remarks
    • Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr., Director, PAHO.

Time in other cities

  •  9:30 a.m.– Los Angeles, Vancouver
  • 10:30 a.m. – Belmopan, Guatemala City,  Managua, Mexico City, San Jose (CR), San Salvador, Tegucigalpa
  • 11:30 a.m. – Bogota, Panama City, Kingston, Lima, Quito
  • 12:30 p.m. – Asunción, Bridgetown, Caracas, Castries, Georgetown, Havana, La Paz, Nassau, Ottawa, Port-au-Prince, Port of Spain, San Juan, Santo Domingo, Washington DC 
  •  1:30 p.m.  –  Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Montevideo, Paramaribo, Santiago
  •  6:30 p.m. – Geneva, Madrid.

For other cities, check the local time in the following link.

60th Directing Council

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60th directing council