Washington D.C., 31 October 2023 (PAHO)- The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, today received Members of the Public Health Subcommittee of the European Parliament at PAHO's headquarters in Washington DC to discuss health priorities, successes, challenges in the region of the Americas.
The European delegation was composed of Sara Cerdas from the Socialist Party (Portugal), Sara Skyttedal from the Christian Democrats (Sweden), Tudor Ciuhodaru from the Partidul Social Democrat (Romania), and Catherine Amalric from the Parti Radical (France).
"The EU and the Americas are natural partners linked by strong historical, cultural, and economic ties, and the European Union has been consistently one of the Organization’s most important partners. For decades, PAHO and EU have collaborated to move forward regional health priorities," Dr. Jarbas Barbosa said.
During the meeting, key health topics such as Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), mental health, and increasing regional manufacturing capacity were addressed, as well as strategic areas where PAHO and the EU could reinforce collaboration in order to narrow health gaps, build resilient health systems, and accelerate post-pandemic recovery in the region.
“PAHO recognizes that the EU Global Health Strategy, launched in November 2022, is a robust and comprehensive tool, which addresses health as a pillar of the EU external policy and aims to ensure better preparedness and response to health threats,” the PAHO Director added.
At the meeting's conclusion, PAHO expressed its readiness to strengthen its partnership with the European Union emphasizing the facilitation of the EU’s strategic efforts in the Americas, including at regional, sub-regional, and country levels, to move towards a sustained and inclusive post-pandemic recovery. The organization also plans to facilitate the exchange of best practices within international frameworks such as EU-CELAC and BRICS.
Rhonda Sealey-Thomas, PAHO Assistant Director; Lou Valdez, PAHO Deputy Director; Oxana Domenti, WHO Representative to the European Union; James Fitzgerald, Director of PAHO's Department for Health Systems and Services; Silvana Luciani, PAHO Unit Chief for Noncommunicable Diseases, Violence and Injuries Prevention; and Renato de Oliveira, PAHO Unit Chief for Mental Health and Substance Use, also participated in the meeting.
The meeting took place shortly before Dr. Barbosa's scheduled visit to Brussels, where he is expected to hold discussions with Members of the European Parliament.