PAHO and the World Bank form the Lancet Americas Commission on Primary Health Care and Resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Washington D.C., 15 December 2023 (PAHO)-- The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Bank (WB) announced the formation of the Lancet Americas Commission on Primary Health Care and Resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean (ALC), which seeks to advance knowledge that will inform decision-making for the future development of PHC and resilience in the region. The announcement was made at the Regional Forum for Primary Health Care (PHC) in the Americas, which took place from December 4 to 6 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

In LAC there is a great need to better understand how primary health care (PHC) needs to be transformed to contribute to prevent, prepare for, respond, and adapt to public health emergencies. The region faces various risks for public health emergencies,  including those posed by climate change, epidemic and pandemic risks, natural disasters, demographic shocks, conflict and violence, and other related factors. All of these are magnified by pre-existing health system weaknesses, tight budgets, public mistrust of institutions, inequalities, and long-standing social and economic hardship.

The new Commission has as objectives:

  • Develop a comprehensive conceptual policy framework for PHC and resilience.
  • Identify fundamental strategies and policies to develop and define the key investments that LAC countries could carry out.
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the foreseeable consequences of not developing such resilience in PHC in LAC countries, covering the potential effects on population health and social and/or economic outcomes to understand the economic arguments for investing in PHC and resilience.

The Commission is co-chaired by high-level specialists from the World Bank and PAHO, with academics from Johns Hopkins University (USA) and the Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) as academic presidents.
This is the first Commission of The Lancet Regional Health - Americas edition and represents an effort to provide knowledge that is relevant to the LAC region and that can contribute to global efforts in the field.