Core Indicators 2019: Health Trends in the Americas was launched in a side event of the 57th Directing Council of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau / Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). The 2019 edition of this publication is a milestone achievement, for it marks a quarter of a century of providing the latest information on key health and health-related indicators for the Region of the Americas.
The 2019 edition of the Core Indicators is a milestone achievement, for it marks a quarter of a century of providing the latest information on key health and health-related indicators for the Region of the Americas.
The event had opening remarks by Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva, PAHO/WHO Assistant Director, as well as presentations by Dr. Cleopatra Jessurun, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Suriname, and Paraguay's Health Minister, Dr. Julio Mazzoleni.
Dr. Jessurun shared the commitment of Suriname to upgrade its information systems, in order to achieve the collection of health data that is less fragmented and more useful in the planing of future public health policies. Better informations systems, she made clear, will in turn provide better care for Suriname's population. Dr. Mazzoleni recounted the history of Paraguay's implementation of information systems for health, and explained that Paraguay has a 6-year implementation plan which is now well underway. Both authorities thanked PAHO for its continued support and assistance.
The event also had the presence of two guest experts: Dr. Paula Otero of Hospital Italiano of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Dr. Ian Brooks, Director of the Center for Health Informatics of the University of Illinois. Dr. Otero told the audience of how the hospital developed its own information system over the course of the past two decades, and how this system is now pretty much in line with PAHO's plans for IS4H.
Dr. Brooks recounted the past 25 years of progress in computing, comparing the state of the art in informatics when the 'Core Indicators' publications was first released and the status of today's data overload, new ways of capturing and analysing data, artificial intelligence and its applications in health, as well as many other advances.
The event was closed by PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, who commemorated the 25 years of the 'Core Indicators,' and noted that 65 years ago the member countries of the Pan American Health Organization agreed to provide health data every four years—which was a huge undertaking at the time—but how data moves a lot faster nowadays, so much so that most data can—and should—be updated daily.