Washington, DC, April 2, 2009 (PAHO)—The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, is meeting with health and development cooperation officials in Canada this week to discuss Canada's health priorities in the Americas and Canada's participation in PAHO programs to improve health equity in Latin America and the Caribbean.

{mosimage}Highlights of Dr. Roses' weeklong trip have included a meeting with Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's first indigenous federal cabinet member, and a visit to Aglukkaq's home territory of Nunavut. There Roses met with local elected and health officials and toured facilities of the public health system, which provides services for the territory's nearly 25,000 indigenous Inuit residents.

In Ottawa, Roses is meeting with officials from Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). 

Roses will also meet the Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, while in Ottawa.

Topics high on the agenda for the visit include enhancing Canada's strategic engagement with PAHO and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Canada's participation in the upcoming Summit of the Americas (in Trinidad and Tobago, April 16-18). Other subjects to be discussed include technical cooperation in the areas of the International Health Regulations, human resources for health, health promotion and disease prevention, health research, mental health, and emergency preparedness and response.

On Friday, April, 3, Dr. Roses will address government employees and university students on the impact of the global economic crisis on health achievements and future challenges in the Americas.

Dr. Roses also will visit the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) to discuss current technical cooperation programs between CHEO and children's hospitals in Oaxaca and Guadalajara, Mexico.

During her Ottawa meetings, Dr. Roses will preview a new web portal dedicated to Canada on the www.paho.org website. Developed in conjunction with PHAC, CIDA, IDRC, DFAIT, and CIHR, the new site will serve as a space for user-based collaboration and knowledge sharing on health issues among Canada, other PAHO member countries, the PAHO Secretariat, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

In addition to its financial support as a PAHO Member State, Canada has also provided up to (CAN) $18 million through CIDA to strengthen PAHO country programs that address pandemic influenza preparedness, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, human resources in the health sector, and inequalities that affect vulnerable populations, especially indigenous peoples.

PAHO, founded in 1902, works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).

For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Public Information Officer, Knowledge Management and Communication, tel (202) 974-3122, fax (202) 974-3143.