PAHO Director's Annual Report highlights lessons learned from the pandemic


Washington, DC, September 25, 2023 (PAHO)- At the opening of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) 60th Directing Council, Director Jarbas Barbosa presented the organization's annual report, which summarizes the technical cooperation provided to member countries, and underlines the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the present and future of the Americas region.

"Now that it is clear that global attention has shifted to the post-pandemic phase, we at PAHO must make a similar transition to safeguard our successes and maintain the prominence of health on the development agenda," said Dr. Barbosa during the presentation of the report, which cover PAHO's work between July 2022 and June 2023.

The document, whose theme is "Towards a Sustainable Post-Pandemic Recovery in the Region of the Americas," highlights, among others, PAHO's support to countries' efforts to increase vaccination against COVID-19 and reduce immunization gaps through a comprehensive approach. It is estimated that more than 2.13 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the Americas, and 70.7% of the region's population has completed the vaccination schedule.

The report highlights PAHO's priority initiatives during the period covered, such as mental health, the strengthening of human resources for health, the prevention of non-communicable diseases and the addressing risk factors among adolescent populations, as well as strengthening of regional genomic surveillance, among others.

The PAHO Director emphasized that the pandemic underscored pervasive inequalities in the region.

"We must make a clear and strong case for sustained investment in health,” the PAHO Director said, “to protect the people of the Region from future disease and suffering."

"I am convinced that by learning the lessons, capturing innovations and transmitting them in an effective and interesting way, as I hope we have succeeded in doing with this report, we have the opportunity to put the Region on an accelerated trajectory towards health for all and deliver a truly sustainable post-pandemic recovery," he emphasized.