Dr. Carissa F Etienne to be confirmed as Regional Director for the Americas

The Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO), made up of 34 delegates from WHO Member States, will meet at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Jan. 21-29 to define the agenda for the upcoming 66th World Health Assembly (WHA), 20—28 May 2013.

In addition, the 132nd Executive Board will confirm Dr. Carissa F. Etienne as WHO's new Regional Director for the Americas. Dr. Etienne was elected Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) by the countries of the Americas last September during the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference. Her five-year term will begin on Feb. 1.

Outgoing PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses will participate in the meeting along with representatives of PAHO member countries currently on the Executive Board (Barbados, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, and the United States). Executive Board members are individuals who are technically qualified in the field of health and are elected for three-year terms.

Major areas of focus for the 132nd Executive Board include a global monitoring framework, targets and an action plan for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs); progress toward the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the post-2015 development agenda; a global vaccine action plan; universal health care; substandard and counterfeit medical products; and WHO reform. Other agenda items include a plan of action on mental health, pandemic influenza preparedness, health research and development, and eHealth.

The WHO Executive Board meets twice a year. Its main meeting is in January, when it defines the agenda for the World Health Assembly and agrees on the resolutions to be considered by it. The Board meets again following the WHA to consider administrative matters. The main functions of the Executive Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.