Managua, Nicaragua, 21 October 2016 (PAHO/WHO) - The director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), Carissa F. Etienne, and Nicaragua's minister of health, Sonia Castro, signed a new technical cooperation strategy today in Nicaragua's capital.

The strategy sets out six main areas in which PAHO/WHO will cooperate with Nicaragua over the next six years. The areas were identified jointly by PAHO/WHO and Nicaragua and are based on the country's national health priorities, PAHO/WHO's Strategic Plan for 2014-2019, and the new global Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations. The areas include maternal and child health, epidemic response, traditional medicine, and chronic noncommunicable diseases.

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From L-R PAHO/WHO Representative in Nicaragua, Socorro Gross, Nicaragua's minister of health, Sonia Castro, and PAHO/WHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne.

"This strategy is important because the lines of action are aligned with Nicaragua's policies and priorities and will complement the government's efforts," said Castro. "We hope it will serve as a road map for ensuring the right to health for the entire population."

Etienne described the strategy's development as a "consensual process" focused on the specific needs and realities of the country. She praised Nicaragua's health model as one that "prioritizes equity, solidarity and human rights."

Other participants in the meeting included PAHO/WHO Representative in Nicaragua Socorro Gross, Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations Arlette Marenco, and other officials of PAHO/WHO and Nicaragua's Ministry of Health.