PAHO/WHO Haiti welcomes Dr Oscar Barreneche as its new representative

Dr Osacr Barreneche, Representant OPS/OMS Haiti

Port-au-Prince, 6 October 2023 (PAHO/WHO) - The transfer act accrediting Dr Oscar Barreneche as the new country office representative was signed yesterday in the presence of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) team in Haiti and representatives from the Organization's headquarters.

The new representative officially took over from Dr Maureen Birmingham who, after three years as representative PAHO/WHO Haiti office, is leaving to head the Organization's office in Peru.  

"It is a privilege and an honour to succeed Dr Birmingham. You can count on my solicitude and my full support for the work you are doing daily in the difficult context that the country is currently experiencing", said Dr. Barreneche, in his first speech as the new Representative. 

Dr Oscar Barreneche, a Colombian national, earned his Doctorate in Medicine and Surgery from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He also holds a Master’s in Health Policy Planning from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the London School of Economics (LSE), London, England. Additionally, Dr. Barreneche has undergone supplementary training in caring for vulnerable populations, health management and leadership, field epidemiology, and tropical medicine, facilitated by Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations College, and the University of Paris V in Paris, France.

In the professional arena, Dr Barreneche volunteered as a doctor with Doctors Without Borders in Uganda and Cambodia and served as an Advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) on matters of transfusion safety, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), emergencies and pandemics, and health policies in Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Indonesia, Liberia, and Timor-Leste. In 2016, he joined the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) team as a Representative in Guatemala. In November 2021, he was appointed PAHO/WHO Representative in Ecuador.

Throughout his career, Dr Barreneche has dedicated himself professionally and personally to serving the most vulnerable populations in the countries where he has worked, focusing on refugees, indigenous populations, and the LGBTI community. He is deeply passionate about the fight against HIV/AIDS and the planning and developing of health policies. Furthermore, he possesses extensive experience in mobilizing resources for financing health programs.