The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) celebrates its 112th anniversary on 2 December 2014, as the world's oldest international health organization. PAHO has played a pivotal role in major health achievements over the past century in the Region of the Americas, including a gain of more than 35 years in life expectancy, an 11-fold decline in infant mortality, the elimination of smallpox and polio, and reductions in many other diseases. PAHO continues its technical cooperation with its member countries to tackle persisting challenges in health inequality and to advance toward universal health coverage and universal access to health. For more about PAHO's history, see: