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Speeches from the Director
Women in Politics
Public health is a powerful tool to build a safer and durable world for all. "That is why I have devoted my entire career to public health; that is why pursuing a career in global health is so rich in personal fulfillment in spite of the occasional disappointments and all the limitations to be found; that is why more attention should be given to it both in policy and in politics." [ Director's Speech at Georgetown University, WDC. ]

Special Report on PAHO's response to the Earthquake in HAITI
Washington DC. January 19, 2010.- Briefing by Dr. Mirta Roses, PAHO Director and Director of the WHO Regional Office for the Americas, to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization. Dr. Roses reported on the Pan American Health Organization's response to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti after the January 12 earthquake. PAHO leads the U.N. Health Cluster.
Read more
Director's Newsletter Issue 2 - Haiti Special Edition

PAHO/WHO Coordinating Regional Efforts to Assist Haiti after Earthquake
Washington, DC. January 14, 2010.- The Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is coordinating the mobilization of efforts to help health authorities in Haiti meet the basic health needs of their people in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake, through its country offices. All the countries in the Region have responded with great solidarity.
Read more: Director's Newsletter Special Edition - Haiti

Fostering Cooperation in Health
Washington, D.C. PAHO HQ. December 16, 2009.- "Public health is way more than a job for us: it is a passion, a heartfelt commitment, our whole life. We keep good company because, fortunately, it is that way not only for us but also for millions of people worldwide. Public health is a sort of a network of networks, where a broad and multifaceted umbrella which protects the well-being of humanity is held up every day by a myriad of individual's actions."
Welcoming remarks by Dr. Mirta Roses-Periago, Director of the Pan American Health Organization on the occasion of the South-South Development Solutions Forum on Global Health as part of the Global South-South Development Expo at PAHO HQ in Washington DC.
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Director's Presentation to the OAS Permanent Council
Washington, D.C. September 23, 2009.- Briefing Session to the Permanent Ambassadors to the Organization of American States and others Estate Member’s Ambassadors.
PAHO 49th Directing Council

Caribbean Wellness Day 2009
Caribbean Countries Celebrate Healthy Lifestyles. On the week of 7-12 September, Caribbean countries will celebrate Caribbean Wellness Day 2009. CWD was launched in 2008 as a response to concerns about the physical, economic and social burdens caused by lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Among the activities this year are a lifestyle management seminar, a soca-erobathon, walks, health checks and healthy cooking demonstrations.
A message from PAHO Director

Welcoming Remarks of Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, PAHO's Director, to the Regional Advisory Committee On Health Statistics (CRAES)
The PAHO’s Advisory Committee on Health Statistics (CRAES) meeting took place in the Pan American Health Organization headquarters in Washington, DC on August 11-13, 2009. The Committee meets periodically to analyze the status of health statistics in the Region of the Americas while promoting improvements in the coverage and the quality of vital and other statistics of interest to the health sector.
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Influenza A (H1N1): Lessons Learned and Preparing for the Future
High-level Meeting on Influenza A (H1N1). Mexico. 3 July 2009.- Director's closing remarks - 'I believe that we are reaping the fruits of years of planning and preparation, which have been very important and, since 2007, have put most of the countries on a rather similar and equitable plane in terms of their ability to participate and implement the International Health Regulations' ... 'this is the real political challenge, always bearing in mind the fundamental principles of protecting the population, solidarity, and equity, and above all trust among peoples and among authorities'.
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More in PDF;» 

UN RDT/RDG: UN Regional Directors Group (RDG) Meeting
Panama. 29-30 June, 2009.- The Regional Directors Group (RDG) of UNAIDS Cosponsors in Latin America and the Caribbean had a very successful meeting in Panama this week, the last meeting under PAHO's chairmanship.
Dr. Mirta Roses, PAHO Director who delivered the opening remarks expressed that this gathering is a good time to measure progress made over the last year and propose some critical lines of action for the next joint RDG work plan 2010-2011.
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HUMAN SECURITY: A Public Health Perspective
El Paso, Texas, USA. June 5, 2009.- Dr. Mirta Roses' presentation at the LXVII Annual Meeting USMBHA /AFMES (Human Security: A New Border Response).
Human security means protecting the vital freedoms. It means protecting the people exposition to threats and to certain situations, strengthening its strength and aspirations. It also means creating systems that facilitate for people the basic elements of survival, dignity, and life.
The threats to the safety of the people in general, to women, to communities, to the ethnic groups, were not sufficiently assessed as potential threats to the safety in general, neither the poverty, the spread of diseases, the destruction of the environment, the lack of access to water, the maternal health, the not to have a permanent work. Until the end of the cold war the states and governments, had not considered priority the daily insecurities that have to support common people, because the greatest threats were seen outside the borders within the framework of the confrontation among the large potencies.
Hunan security means the equitable access to education, work, and health, as well as the respect of the human rights, as essential components of the security, this without denying the obligation of guaranteeing national security by of the governments.
Presentation »

Passionate for Primary Health Care (PHC)
May 15, 2009.- Interview with Dr. Roses in Safe Observer International Observatory. "I believe we need to have in place well-functioning health systems that are: Able to protect the population under any circumstances; Resistant and resilient in the face of crises; Capable of reacting rapidly and developing urgent strategies; Skilled at rebuilding themselves as necessary to respond to current and future challenges arising from demographic and epidemiological changes."
Interview » [PDF]
Safe Observer - Original Publication
Health Systems Based on Primary Health Care for Social Protection. [PAHO Website]

Seventh Vaccination Week in the Americas
April 25, 2009 - May 02, 2009.- Vaccination Week in the Americas is an unparalleled effort led by the member countries of the Pan American Health Organization to vaccinate millions of people. In 2009, the seventh Vaccination Week in the Americas will happen between the 25th of April and May 2nd. This year, Vaccination Week will emphasize vaccination of the whole family, and the immunization of health workers.
A Message from PAHO Director »
Massive Multi-Country Drive Aims to Vaccinate 30 Million People [PAHO Press Release]

Washington, DC. PAHO. 7 April 2009.- Director's article published in several countries in the region (Guatemala, Costa Rica, Barbados, República Dominicana, Caribbean Net News, Bolivia, Nicaragua)
When a disaster strikes, our most immediate concern is to save lives, help the injured, and restore well-being to the affected communities. This cannot be accomplished without a vital element: our hospitals. However, more than half of them--that is, over 8,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean, are located in high-risk areas. If these health facilities cease their operations because of a disaster, the repercussions will be infinitely worse. This year, therefore, World Health Day underscored the need for safe hospitals.
World Health Day 2009, PAHO
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AMRO takes the lead: Implementation of new WHO policy on Collaborating Centers
Washington, DC. February 2009.- With the rollout of the global electronic system known as eCC System in 2007, all WHO Regions transitioned to a paperless processing environment for (re)designations of the WHO Collaborating Centers. The mandate to do so was announced by mid 2008.
AMRO/PAHO took the lead as it kicked off 2009 in full compliance with this new policy.
This was accomplished thanks to the remarkable teamwork of all partners involved: ITT/AME and KMS/KCS, WHO development and support team for the ingenious eCC system; WHO staff at the country, regional and Headquarters in Geneva and most importantly, all the centers.
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Improving Public Health by addressing the SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
Asuncion, Paraguay. 16 February 2009.- SRMM-Subregional Managers' Meeting Andean Region and Southern Cone.
Director's Interview with IP Paraguay (Secretariat of Information and Communication for Development) during her official visit to Paraguay to participate in the PAHO's SRMM.
[only Spanish version] "... la formulación de políticas públicas que aborden el peso de los determinantes sociales para reducir las desigualdades que se encuentran en los resultados de salud de la población y también de manera importante en cómo llevar a que la salud esté integrada en todas las políticas públicas (de empleo, de inversión en infraestructura, en alfabetización universal, etc.) de modo que se pueda trabajar de manera concertada y teniendo en cuenta que el objetivo final es la calidad de vida de la población ... "
Entrevista/Interview »

PRIMARY HEALTH CARE is the solution to key health problems facing our communities today
Asuncion, Paraguay. 12 February 2009.- PAHO's Director during an exchange that she held with representatives of different community organizations of the Central department in Paraguay that stated their experiences concerning the shares carried out to promote a healthier space; during the Subregional Managers' Meeting of the Andean area and Southern Cone of PAHO. [PDF Only in Spanish version]
More in PDF;» 

PAHO promotes behavior change to combat DENGUE in the Region
Asuncion, Paraguay. 10 February 2009.- PAHO Director at a press conference during the PAHO Subregional Managers' Meeting of Southern Cone and Andean (SRMM).
[only in Spanish] “Creo que tenemos el conocimiento y la estrategia que funciona, pero todavía nos falta ese cambio de comportamiento. Tenemos que encontrar los caminos para hacer que la gente no entre en pánico ni alarma, ni trate de buscar al culpable afuera porque definitivamente el culpable está dentro, muchas veces, dentro de las casas”, sostuvo.
Director's Newsletter - SRMM
More in PDF;» 

Health Care Must NOT Replicate Social Inequalities
Washington, DC. October 20, 2008.- The renewal of primary health care (PHC) as a crucial tool for overcoming existing weaknesses ... Our region is an acknowledged leader in the fight to ensure that the integrated vision of health expressed in the primary health care strategy becomes a priority on the political agenda and in public health policy-making. We must continue this endeavor, so critical for achieving the greater goal of health for all, with all, and by all, at every level of action in health throughout the life cycle.
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Planning Public Health Action. A Collective Vision and Commitment to Better Health.
Annual Report from PAHO Director, 2007-2008.
Washington, D.C. September 29, 2008.- Dr. Mirta Roses Periago presents the 2007–2008 annual report on the work of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, Regional Office of the World Health Organization. The report highlights the Bureau's major work in providing technical cooperation during this period within the framework of the Strategic Plans of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau.
"... strategic planning will allow us to strengthen health action, improve efficiency, increase accountability, and improve social protection and access to quality health care ..."
Director's speech » / Annual Report »

Action Now: For the lives of mothers, newborns, and children
Chile. September 19, 2008.- Regional Launch of the Global Initiative.
"... There can be no delay. Every year, over 22,000 women in the Region die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, along with nearly 400,000 children under the age of 5. Worldwide, in the brief time required to read this article, four women who are pregnant or giving birth and 80 boys and girls under 5 will die ... "
PAHO-PMNCH Article »
WHO South-South cooperation for MDGs 4 and 5 »
Briefing video: Regional launching »

International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to replace United Nations System Accounting Standards (UNSAS) as approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations
Washington, DC. PAHO HQ. September 9, 2008.- " ... This is a Corporate Initiative for PAHO - IPSAS supports and enhances objectives of Results Based Management. Furthermore, it ensures transparency in financial budgeting, accounting and reporting, and provides opportunities for comparability among and between international organizations ..."
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PAHO address the critical issue of how to support women in the health sciences in Latin America
Washington, DC. PAHO HQ. September 3, 2008.- " ... I am delighted to have the opportunity to welcome you all here to think with us on how best to help the women whose scientific efforts provides an underpinning of all that we do ... women in Latin America do not enjoy the same social status as men. Gender equality is a goal yet to be achieved ... the current trend of the rates of HIV infections in women and girls across Latin America, particularly in Caribbean countries, is alarming, Women aged between 15 and 24 account for 45 percent of all HIV infections among adults globally ... I challenge you to think with us on how we could adapt the capacity building program for women researchers and use it to empower women working on AIDS, and women working on environmental health issues so they can take their place among the thinkers and change agents for a healthier world ..."
Director's opening speech » at the meeting of Women Experts on HIV and Environmental Health Research.

Towards Elimination of Vertical Transmission of HIV and Syphilis as a public health problem in the Caribbean
Mexico City. August 3-8, 2008.- " ... The satellite session held on Sunday regarding achievement of Universal Access in the Caribbean and current realities clearly highlighted the potential of the region to make rapid progress towards the Universal Access goal. On the other hand, the need to ensure comprehensive quality care to pregnant women and their infants to sustain achievements on prevention of vertical transmission of HIV was identified as a must."
Dr. Roses address as keynote speaker » at the XVII International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2008.

It's time to break the silence
Mexico. August 5, 2008.- "... preventing new infections is key to halting the HIV pandemic ... over 55,000 children under the age of 15 and 400,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 18 were living with HIV in 2007 ... only 4 out of 10 adolescents and young adults considered themselves well-informed about HIV ... let us undertake this responsibility with leadership, passion, and courage. Let us make our children’s right to protect themselves a reality ... "
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Common Challenges, Joint Solutions
Washington, D.C. July 24, 2008.- Director's Article: ' ...The concept that common challenges demand joint solutions has prompted all the Directors for the Region of agencies in the United Nations system, under the coordination of the UNDP, to develop a joint work program ... coordination is critical to the success ... formulating a work plan to ensure that specific achievements are attained over the next two years ... the Pan American Partnership on Nutrition and Development directed toward finding collective solutions to the food crisis ... '
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First Things First
CHILD AND MATERNAL HEALTH. Director's BLOG article where she invites to the lecture of an Op-Ed article written by Bernardo Kliksberg, respected Adviser of the UNDP´s Regional Director for Latin American and the Caribbean, focused on childhood and maternal health.
Director's BLOG »

Safe Surgery Saves Lives: a Pan-American Perspective
Washington, D.C. 25 June 2008.- 'PAHO participation on "Safe Surgery Saves Lives" is an important step to bring forward the patient safety agenda in the Americas'.
Dr. Mirta Roses, PAHO Director welcoming remarks at the Second Global Patient Safety Challenge: "SAFE SURGERY SAVES LIVES INITIATIVE".
See also: Director's Newsletter
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Primary Health Care: A New Vision for the Fourth Decade
Washington, D.C. May 30, 2008.- Director's speech at the special session on Primary Health Care at the Global Health Council Annual Conference 2008.
2008 mark the 30th anniversary of the Alma Ata Declaration. The principles of equitable access to affordable health care, using primary health care (PHC) as the tool to turn these principles into practice, remain as valid today as they did in 1978.
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Primary Health Care for the New Century
Geneva Health Forum 2008. 25 May 2008.- 'In the spirit of this Forum, and to successfully address the health determinants and affirm the right to health, I invite you to join me in building a multi-stakeholder coalition of interested parties, to ensure that a health system based on Primary Health Care represents a feasible and politically appealing policy option.' Speech delivered by Dr. Roses, PAHO's Director in the opening ceremony of the Health Forum 2008 that took place during the celebration of the 61st World Health Assembly.
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2008 World Day for Safety and Health at Work
Washington, D.C. May 1st., 2008.- Director's closing remarks at PAHO HQ Ceremony.
'Since the launch of the PAHO Workers' Health Regional Plan of Action in 1999, several milestones have been attained to help improve the lives and well-being of million of workers, their families, and communities in the Americas. Over the years, there has been an increase in awareness of the role and influence of our environment and workplace environment on our health. This has been possible through the advocacy and work of local, national, and international leaders in the field of occupational and environmental health. This day provides us with an opportunity to recognize the commitment of the global community that works towards a common goal: improving the health and safety of workers.'
Director's closing remarks »
Director's Newslettter - 2008 World Day for Safety and Health at Work »

Vaccination: An Act of Love that Transcends Borders
Washington, D.C. Abril 23, 2008.- Article of the Director commemorating the VI Vaccination Week of the Americas published in several communications media of the Region.
The benefits of vaccination know no borders.
Vaccination is one of the most effective and efficient ways to put health within the reach of all. It combines individual well-being with family and social well-being: that of the rich with that of the poor; that of children with that of the elderly; that of citizens with that of foreigners; that of rural inhabitants with that of city dwellers; that of residents with that of migrants.
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PAHO and UNICEF Working Together to support LAC Countries
PAHO Press Release. Washington, D.C., April 25, 2008.- Top officials and technical experts from UNICEF visited the Pan American Health Organization to discuss areas of joint collaboration including water and sanitation, nutrition, social support for mothers and children, work in health emergencies and risk communications focusing on pregnant women, children and adolescents.
Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, Director of PAHO and Dr. Nils Kastberg, Director of the UNICEF Regional Office shared the moral imperatives of helping excluded populations to address the unfinished agenda and accelerate progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Read more »
OPS XXI en acción. Dr. Mirta Roses' presentation at the opening of the meeting. [Spanish version]
PAHO - UNICEF: Comprometidos por la Salud
Poem written by Dr. Nils Kastberg, UNICEF's Director on the occasion of Dr. Roses inauguration ceremony on February 1st, 2008. [Spanish version]

A message from PAHO Director. 6th. Vaccination Week in the Americas.
19-26 April 2008.- "Vaccination Week in the Americas is an example and reminder of the best of Pan Americanism," said PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses. "We are consolidating a true participatory culture for prevention throughout the Americas."
Message »
Vaccination week in the Americas advances on goals

TIME TO ACT: Protecting Health from Climate Change
Google News. April 11, 2008.- Google News asked Dr. Roses to write a special comment related to the theme of the World Health Day 2008 celebration: “Protecting Health from Climate Change”.
Global health put at risk by climate change. "The effect of climate change over health is neither a minor issue nor a theoretical possibility: it is already happening, here and now, and it is related to major public health problems.
You are also invited to comment at her BLog: Comment from Google News by Mirta Roses, Director, Pan American Health Organization »

OUR Planet, OUR Health, OUR Future - They are in OUR Hands.
Washington, D.C. PAHO HQ. April 7, 2008.- "...We need a comprehensive Framework for Action to properly address climate change and its impact on health: addressing Evidence, implementing Adaptation mechanisms in the health sector, and providing Leadership..."
Celebrating World Health Day 2008 at PAHO
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Climate Change a Challenge to Human Species
April 7, 2008.- "One of the most well-known, a result of changes in the usual patterns of temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, etc., occurs in the distribution of diseases, as well as vectors, which generally are insects. These also modify, for example, the seasonal cycles that had prevented the dissemination of diseases. So new ones appear or others expand, such as respiratory illnesses, yellow fever, malaria or dengue, which now extends across the continent.
Climate change gives way to a higher frequency of phenomena like hurricanes and periods of drought followed by excessive rains, which especially affect the most vulnerable, the communities that live in high-risk zones and in poverty."
Dr. Roses interview with Tierramerica, a specialised news service of UNDP and UNEP.
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Climate Change and Health. World Health Day 2008.
Message from the Director. April 7, 2008.- Climate change is already affecting human health, and it's time to do something about it. A message from Dr. Mirta Roses, Director of the Pan American Health Organization.
Video Message

Building concrete, viable outputs and constructive proposals for injury prevention and safety promotion
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. March 15, 2008.- We need to target the causes and risk factors for violence and traffic injuries. Director's Speech at the inauguration ceremony at the 9th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion.
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Report of the Panamerican Health Organization to the permanent council of the OAS
Washington, D.C. March 12, 2008.- Dr. Roses delivered her presentation to OAS Permanent Council, briefing the PAHO health achievements and challenges from the last 5 years as an specialized health agency from the inter-american system.
Director's Presentation
Director's Speech Video [Spanish version]

PAHO Director: Gender Inequality is Completely Unacceptable
Washington, D.C., March 10, 2008 (PAHO)— More than a third of women in Latin America and the Caribbean have suffered violence at the hands of their domestic partners, more than 22,000 die each year in childbirth from preventable causes, and women and girls account for a growing proportion of all new cases of HIV.
These and similar examples of gender inequality are "completely unacceptable," said Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr. Mirta Roses today at an event celebrating International Women's Day 2008, held at PAHO headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Read more »

Gender Equality: Let's Get Real
Director's speech at the celebration of International Women's Day 2008.
"... We need to get real about the persistently high rates of gender based violence, about the stubbornly high and unjust rates of maternal mortality, about the increasing casualties from accidents among our men and boys, about the alarming HIV infections among women and girls, especially in our Caribbean countries, about the essential and unpaid care, about women and men's different needs and realities, about health differences between women and men, about funding women's empowerment ..."
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An ACHIEVABLE DREAM: Eliminating some Diseases from the Region
"When envisioning the future of public health in the Americas, we can and should dare to dream of victories that greatly benefit all citizens and have a real impact on the human development levels of our peoples.
Eliminating certain illnesses or diseases that still afflict our peoples even though we possess the knowledge and tools with which to make them virtually disappear is one of those achievable dreams."
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Dr. Roses' Opening Remarks at the PAHO consultation meeting on WHO Research Strategy.
Washington, D.C. HQ. February 8, 2008.- The definition of a health research strategy will provide a critical tool for managing and organizing research activities within WHO and its regional offices. It should also guide and support member states in organizing health research. The governments of the Americas have made research a regional priority as stated in the health agenda for the Americas. PAHO is responding to this call for action by drafting its own health research policy. ."
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Dr. Mirta Roses Inaugural Address as Director of the Pan American Health Organization
February 1, 2008.-
"This is above all a day of commitment. Today I renew my oath to devote myself tirelessly, day by day, hour by hour, to keeping PAHO at the forefront of the response to the regional and global challenges in public health and, particularly, to serve as an instrument for bringing good health to the most neglected, vulnerable, marginalized, and excluded populations."
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WHO Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan at the PAHO's Director sworn ceremony
Washington, D.C. February 1, 2008.-Video speech of Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the Inaugural ceremony of Dr. Mirta Roses as Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for a second term.

WHO Executive Board reappoints Dr Mirta Roses as Regional Director for the Americas
Geneva, January 24, 2008 (PAHO).— Dr Mirta Roses was reappointed as Regional Director for the Americas by the World Health Organization's Executive Board today, and will begin her second five-year term as Regional Director for the Americas after being sworn in at a Washington ceremony February 1.
Dr Roses' Acceptance Speech: English / Español / Português / Français
PAHO Release »

Equity and Primary Health Care
November 8, 2007. News Release - Article.- In the health sector, the fastest and most effective way to reduce the social gaps that affect the Region is to apply the primary care strategy, because decentralizing care and reaching out to people generate enormous benefits for individuals, families, and society as a whole. Mirta Roses-Periago, Director, Pan American Health Organization.
Equidad y Atención Primaria en Salud
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Action Against Diabetes
November 14, 2007.- "PAHO’s Strategy and Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases promote better diabetes prevention and control in the Region. Emphasis is placed on the organization of services, access to diagnostic methods and treatment, and prevention." Dr. Roses article celebrating World Diabetes Day 2007.
Acción contra la diabetes (spanish version)
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Partnership for Health Development
Geneva, Switzerland. November 12, 2007.- "The achievement of MDG related with health, is a crucial event to sustain the achievements of others MDGs and to improve life conditions of opulations. Partnerships for Health Development (PHDs) have a major role to play in this endeavour. Indeed, a key reason for establishing such partnerships and funds stemmed from global concern about the burden of disease pandemics, and the need to accelerate action substantially if global targets were to be achieved.  
A fundamental strategy of Partnerships for Health Development has been to work in new ways to expand effective collaboration – including promoting greater participation by civil society and the private sector - and increase access to resources to serve those in need".
Dr. Roses presentation at the Plenary session on Partnerships and WHO.
Partnerships for Health Development - Background Document
Three Day Policy Dialogue Agenda

Dr. Chan's opening remarks at the Fourth Global Meeting of Heads of WHO Country Offices
Geneva, Switzerland. 12 November 2007.- "We all know that health problems, and the capacity to address them, vary considerably from region to region. Each country has its own unique set of threats to health. Health is affected by cultural beliefs, such as those that influence the status of women or stigmatize people with certain diseases. Health is influenced by political systems and the quality of governance. Health systems are themselves highly context-specific, shaped by history, and by the social, cultural, and political environment.
These observations lead us to an obvious conclusion: this Organization’s decentralized structure is an asset. It follows a time-honoured principle: delegation of responsibility to the level of greatest operational efficiency."
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... more speeches...