Caracas / Washington D.C., 9 June 2020 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization has renewed its commitment to continue supporting the Ministry of Popular Power for Health and the Advisory Team of the National Assembly of Venezuela in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the search for financial resources to help strengthen the country's response to confront this emergency.
The Director of PAHO, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, said today that the cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Health and the National Assembly advisory team is an important step that will require "Continuous, transparent and unwavering joint work to deliver the results all Venezuelans urgently need.”
COVID-19 has been a problem for most countries, but this pandemic also provides a good opportunity to pursue health as a bridge to peace," said PAHO’s Director. "It takes high commitment, courage and a sense of urgency to put aside political and ideological differences to reach an agreement to protect people's lives. That is precisely the nature of the collaboration agreement that was signed in Venezuela following multiple dialogues and negotiations facilitated by PAHO at both the technical and political levels."
In a meeting today between the Minister of Health, Carlos Alvarado; National Assembly adviser Julio Castro; PAHO’s director of health emergencies, Ciro Ugarte, and PAHO's representative in Venezuela, Gerardo de Cosio, participants agreed to prioritize access to protective equipment for health personnel and medicines and supplies for treatment and intensive care services, to decentralize diagnostic testing and join efforts to care for the most affected states.
They also agreed to ensure that logistics and customs are well coordinated at ports of entry to ensure the rapid distribution of medicines and equipment.
"It is clearly a very important step and PAHO is privileged to confirm its renewed commitment to continue serving the population of Venezuela. It is also a responsibility for us to deliver technical cooperation in accordance with humanitarian principles and provide technical excellence," Etienne said.
The agreement signed by the three parties on 1 June identified as priority lines: the detection of active COVID-19 cases through laboratory diagnosis; timely and appropriate treatment of confirmed cases; and the supervised isolation of symptomatic cases and the quarantine of their contacts. With regard to health services, they identified the protection of health personnel and the implementation of infection prevention and control actions in health facilities. They also identified epidemiological surveillance as a priority, with analysis of and situation reports, as well as the provision of risk communication to the population so they can take prevention and care measures.
Both sides of the agreement noted that the COVID-19 pandemic poses a challenge to the health, economy and well-being of Venezuelan society. In order to save lives, protect health personnel and reduce the transmission of the disease in the country, complementary work by all public and private entities is required. In this regard, the MPPS and the National Assembly requested PAHO's technical and administrative support to ensure the implementation, monitoring and monitoring of this collaboration, as well as to report regularly on the lines agreed as priorities.