Measurement and strengthening of the EPHF: the experience of countries in the Region of the Americas

Measurement and strengthening of the EPHF: the experience of countries in the Region of the Americas
mujer con balde

WHAT: Measurement and strengthening of the EPHF: the experience of countries in the Region of the Americas  

WHEN:  8 December 2021 -  12.00 p.m.  - 3.00 p.m. (EST)

As part of the webinar series on the essential public health functions (EPHF), organized by PAHO/HSS and in the framework of Universal Health Day, this webinar seeks to highlight the important country experiences gained during the strengthening and evaluation exercise of the EPHF.

The renewed EPHF is part of the stewardship role of health authorities to strengthen and transform health systems towards universal health. This proposal responds to the public health challenges in our region and is framed by the global reference of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and PAHO's regional strategy of universal access to health and universal health coverage.
In 2020, PAHO, in collaboration with the Member States, proposed the revision and renewal of the EPHF approach, reflected in the publication The Essential Public Health Functions in the Americas. A Renewal for the 21st Century. Conceptual framework and description . This renewal was based on the experiences and lessons learned from the regional application and measurement that took place in previous decades, the new and persistent challenges to population health and its social determinants, as well as the new institutional, economic, social, and political conditions that affect the Region implying a more comprehensive vision for public health to face the challenges of the 21st century. 

In 2021, as part of the recent approval of the Strategy for Building Resilient Health Systems and Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery to Sustain and Protect Public Health Gains during the 59th PAHO Directing Council , the EPHF was identified as one of the 4 strategic lines of action to guide Member States to regain lost ground in public health and get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

In this context, the central purpose of the proposed evaluation process is to strengthen the stewardship role of the health authorities and the areas involved in the exercise of the EPHF in each country. In this sense, the health authorities are the central stakeholders that will make it possible to carry out this exercise of evaluating and strengthening the EPHF. The entire process aims to involve as many actors and sectors as possible, guaranteeing a broad and pluralistic intersectoral perspective.

In a first round of countries, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Peru, El Salvador, The Bahamas, Suriname, Saint Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis have made a commitment to use this new conceptual and methodological approach, which is part of the application of the instrument for evaluating and strengthening the capacities of the EPHFs. In this sense, this webinar aims to share the important experiences of health authorities in the implementation of this approach, generating a space for reflection and debate.