Quito, Ecuador, 11 April 2016 (PAHO/WHO) — Carissa F. Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), gave special recognition today to the Government of Ecuador for the country's recent progress in protecting and promoting public health.
The recognition, which Etienne presented to Vice-president Jorge Glas in his capacity as acting president, cites recent increases in Ecuador's national health budget and its adoption of PAHO-recommended measures to reduce risk factors for chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including regulations on labeling of processed food products, food and physical activity in schools, and controls on alcohol sales and consumption. The honor also cited Ecuador's ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Etienne is in Ecuador this week for discussions with high-level government officials and international development partners as well as for the annual meeting of PAHO country representatives based in South America. In addition to meeting with Vice-president Glas, Etienne is also scheduled to meet with Minister of Health Margarita Guevara to discuss Ecuador's progress in areas including maternal mortality, the use of WHO's child growth standards to measure and treat chronic malnutrition (growth stunting), food labeling, and taxes on sugary beverages,
Etienne's agenda also includes meetings with Minister of Social Development Gabriela Rosero, President of the National Assembly Gabriela Rivadeneira, President of the National Assembly's Commission on the Right to Health William Garzón, former Colombian president and current Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Ernesto Samper, and the executive director of UNASUR's South American Institute of Governance in Health (ISAGS), Carina Vance. Etienne will also meet with Diego Zorilla, U.N. resident coordinator in Ecuador.