Washington, DC, April 21, 2017 (PAHO / WHO) - The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa F. Etienne, will visit Mexico from April 24 to 28 to participate in the regional launch of the 15th Vaccination Week in the Americas and to recognize the country's progress against neglected infectious diseases.
Mexico Secretary of Health José Narro and Undersecretary for Prevention and Health Promotion Pablo Kuri Morales will join Etienne and PAHO representative in Mexico, Gerry Eijkemans in a ceremony and press conference to launch the Vaccination Week event April 24 at 10 am at the Secretary of Health headquarters.
Vaccination Week this year celebrates 15 years since its launch in 2003. Since then, more than 640 million people have been vaccinated in the countries of the Americas under the initiative coordinated by PAHO. This year, more than 60 million people are expected to be vaccinated against a number of dangerous diseases, including measles, influenza and human papillomavirus (HPV).
Mexico has also made progress in eliminating neglected infectious diseases that affect people living in poverty, such as onchocerciasis and trachoma, which can cause blindness and disability. These advances will be recognized by PAHO / WHO in a special event on April 24.
Dr. Etienne, who is also Regional Director for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO), will meet health authorities and mayors participating in the Mexican Network of Municipalities for Health meeting. Since 1991, PAHO / WHO has supported the creation of healthy municipalities in Latin America based on the Global Healthy Cities strategy. Mexico was one of the first countries to join this initiative.
PAHO's Director will also speak at the Ministerial Meeting of Mexico and Mesoamerica on Migration and Health on April 25. From April 26 to 28, she will participate in the Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Countries on Sustainable Development, the regional political mechanism for discussing development strategies for the year 2030. The forum is organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).