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"Opportunities for Public Private Partnerships to Address the Challenges of Health in the Americas"

PAHO, PAHEF AND GLOBAL BUSINESS FORUM luncheon discussion meeting

Washington, D.C. The Georgetown Club.
Junio 16, 2009.

PAHO, PAHEF and the Global Business Forum (GBF) met to review important areas of cooperation in this the four year of PAHO/GBF interchange.

PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses and PAHEF Director Mr. Ed Kadunc along with Dr. Manuel Sotelo, PAHO Area Manager for External Relations, Resource Mobilization, and Partnerships; Dr. Jose Luis Di Fabio, PAHO Area Manager for Technology, Health Care, & Research and Dr. James Hospedales, PAHO Senior Advisor, Prevention & Control of Chronic Diseases; met with several members of the Global Business Forum (GBF), to discuss "Opportunities for Public Private Partnerships to Address the Challenges of Health in the Americas". The GBF is a Washington, DC-based organization that facilitates contact and dialogue between governments, business and international organizations.

At the meeting the companies present (from the Global Business Forum, which is an organization comprised of international corporations) included five pharmaceuticals: Abbott, Eli Lilly, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis and Sanofi Pasteur, Nestle, Pepsico, and Shell.

After introductions by PAHO Director on the general health situation in the region, the group established a dialogue around PAHO's priorities, and its efforts to work with the private sector and other constituencies. Participants from the Global Business Forum expressed a positive attitude and interest to work with PAHO and a sense of urgency was conveyed to move forward together.

The situation of H1N1 influenza was discussed, as a real time epidemic, where the Americas had been shown to be well prepared, and where the years of collaboration with the media and communications industry was paying off in terms of responsible coverage.

The PAHO Partners Forum for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control was the major subject of discussion. It was agreed that the problem needed a multi-sectoral approach for success. The Forum will be officially announced on September 29 by Dr. Roses, as a platform for dialogue synergistic action between public and private sectors and civil society on joint solutions to chronic diseases, healthy lifestyles and supportive environments. PAHO's role will be that of broker and catalyst, between the different sectors and partners.

Specifics like achieving high level policy attention to chronic diseases, public education, salt reduction in diets, cervical cancer prevention, scaling up access to quality health services for chronic diseases, and workplace wellness were among the subjects intensively discussed. Neglected problems like mental health and epilepsy were also discussed.

As part of the multi partner approach, PAHO is working with the CARMEN Network of countries, key WHO Collaborating Centers, international NGOs in heart disease, diabetes and cancer, Consumers International, the International Business Leaders Forum and the World Economic Forum to develop the Partners Forum, and strengthen country and staff capacity to engage in multi-sectoral partnership, which is necessary to win the fight against chronic diseases.

The participants also agreed on the concept of deepening the collaboration from current contractual relationships, to leveraging core competencies and capacities, such as marketing, distribution, and education and training. On July 16, PAHO and WEF will jointly host a meeting with the private sector to discuss in more depth how the Partners Forum concept.

PAHO/WHO is an international public health organization with more than 100 years of experience working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized agency for health of the Inter-American System, for the Organization of American States (OAS). As the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization, PAHO/WHO enjoys international recognition as a specialized public health agency of the United Nations.

PAHEF. Pan American Health and Education Foundation is an independent philanthropic organization working to build public health expertise to be able to innovatively lead development of healthier generations of people in the Americas by partnering with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the private sector, and major public health research, policy, and development groups. PAHEF shares PAHO's vision of health for all.

Established in 1987, the Global Business Forum is an organization comprised of international corporations which serves as a bridge connecting the business community and officials in government, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to discuss the major policy issues of the day, and to explore possible cross-sectoral synergies and solutions.

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