Punta Cana, June 2018 (PAHO/WHO) - The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), in the framework of the Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in the Americas, is promoting a series of multisectoral dialogues on policies and partnerships, with a view to strengthening multisectoral plans and programs to address noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).
In collaboration with the Technical Commission on Chronic Diseases and Cancer--composed of member countries of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA)--PAHO held a multisectoral dialogue for Central America on 11-12 June in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic).
Heads of national NCD programs from several health ministries and social security institutes participated, along with advisors on NCDs from the PAHO/WHO offices in Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama.
Representatives from outside the health sector also participated, including the Central American Integration System (SICA), as well as the General Secretariat for Central American Educational and Cultural Coordination, the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA), the Secretariat for Social Integration, the Confederation of Municipal Associations of Central America and the Caribbean (CAMCAYCA), the Central American University Superior Council (CSUCA), the Center for Health Research and Studies (CIES). Other participants were Guatemalan congressional representatives, civil society organizations, and representatives of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Mayan Studies and Research Center (CEDIM), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP). Finally, institutions of the Dominican Republic also joined the dialogue: Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture, National Institute of Land Transit and Transportation, National Institute for Physical Activity, Institute of Student Welfare, and news media.
This broad participation favored dialogue reflecting different perspectives, realities, and contexts in the implementation of the agenda for prevention and control of NCDs in the Central American subregion. The SICA secretariats reached key agreements to move forward with front labeling of food products, dissemination of information on NCDs, coordination with the ministries of education and the network of mayors, and advances in the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals related to NCDs, with the support of ECLAC. The meeting concluded with a proposal for multisectoral interventions to prevent NCDs, to be implemented by each country at the subregional level in the 2018-2019 biennium.
During this meeting, the representatives of the Technical Commission on Chronic Diseases and Cancer also participated in a workshop on reducing salt intake (13-14 June), also organized by PAHO, and in a semiannual meeting of the Commission (15 June), where PAHO representatives participated as guests.