Caracas, 15 June 2018 (PAHO / WHO)- The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa F. Etienne has met with the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, to discuss strategies to ensure the health of the Venezuelan people.

directora y presidente de Vzla

The meeting focused on the country's measles and diphtheria vaccination campaign, and it was agreed that efforts will be stepped up to halt current outbreaks in Venezuela, through the National Vaccination Plan. 

The Director of PAHO reiterated that the public health system must be improved, particularly in the area of primary care, in order to ensure better prevention and treatment of disease.

"Primary health care must be supported to meet the vast majority of health-related needs," said Etienne.

The President of Venezuela expressed his intention to channel the purchase of vaccines and supplies, oncology drugs, immunosuppressants and treatment for other chronic illness, through the PAHO Rotating Fund and Strategic Fund for medicines. These funds are both mechanisms that enable Member States to collaborate, respectively, in the provision of vaccinations and supplies, and medicines.

Prior to this meeting, Dr. Etienne met with Venezuelan Minister, Jorge Arreaza and Vice-president of Social Development, Elias Jaua.

Etienne also participated in meetings with the representative of PAHO in Venezuela, Jose Moya; Director of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief at PAHO, Ciro Ugarte, and PAHO's Head of the Health Services and Access Unit, Amalia del Riego.