"Toward a Healthier Future: A Generation Better Protected Against Diseases and Health Conditions"

PAHO/WHO has a history of disease elimination which continues to evolve over the years. In September 2010, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Member States approved an innovative resolution: the ambitious dual goal to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis (EMTCT) in the region of the Americas. This resolution is a commitment by Member States to prioritise and propel efforts forward, ensuring a generation free of HIV and syphilis.

Mother with newborn at hospital with medical provider

The Caribbean advanced with this initiative by strengthening the primary prevention and treatment services for HIV and syphilis within Maternal and Child Health (MCH), a process that is ongoing. This initiative serves as a beacon of hope, promising a future where HIV and Syphilis are no longer a public health threat to future generations.


The dual certification of EMTCT of HIV and syphilis is only for the Americas. Currently, a total of twenty (20) countries globally have been certified by the  WHO as eliminating the mother-to-child transmission of HIV  or HIV and syphilis. Eleven of the countries and territories certified for dual elimination are from the Caribbean. These include CubaDominica, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis and Anguilla. 

Validation Ceremony for the Elimination of dual EMTCT of HIV and Syphilis
Validation Ceremony for the Elimination of dual EMTCT of HIV and Syphilis

A Leap Forward to eliminate communicable diseases and other conditions: The Elimination Initiative 

In 2019, PAHO Member States took a significant step by endorsing the Integrated Sustainable Framework for the Elimination of Communicable Diseases and other Conditions, known as the Elimination Initiative. The Elimination Initiative (EI) expected to leverage the experience of disease elimination in the Region, strive to accelerate the elimination of diseases with an overarching aim of achieving future generations free from the burden of communicable diseases and related conditions in the Americas by 2030. This groundbreaking framework is expected to eliminate over 30 communicable diseases and conditions as public health threats by 2030. As part of the wider elimination agenda,  in 2023 Belize was certified by WHO as eliminating Malaria as a significant public health threat.   This can be a hyper link that links to the elimination agenda document. 

The EMTCT Plus which now includes Hepatitis B and Chagas (in endemic countries) is now positioned within this broader context of the elimination agenda and leveraging the experience from the elimination of MTCT of HIV and syphilis and the elimination of other immune-preventable diseases. This framework is an opportunity to further integrate the elimination of communicable diseases into maternal and child health services and to further strengthen the quality of services and coverage of services.

The mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and Chagas is the first step toward ending these diseases as a public health threat in the Caribbean. The  global criteria, process and tools for EMTCT Plus validation is available for countries contemplating certification.