Jamaica Leads Talks On Protecting PAHO Revolving Fund

Photo: JIS Photographer Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson (centre), shakes hands with Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa F. Etienne (left), at the conclusion of the 52nd Directing Council meeting of PAHO in Washington, D.C on Friday (Oct. 4). At right is President of the Executive Committee of PAHO and Brazil’s Minister of Health, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa.

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica distinguished itself in leading the discussion on protecting the revolving fund of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) at the just concluded 52nd Directing Council meeting of PAHO in Washington, D.C.
  • The PAHO fund was established over 30 years ago to give a single price on pharmaceuticals to nation states in the Americas.
  • Dr. Ferguson was one of two persons named Vice Presidents of the 52nd PAHO Directing Council held from September 30 to October 4.

Jamaica distinguished itself in leading the discussion on protecting the revolving fund of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) at the just concluded 52nd Directing Council meeting of PAHO in Washington, D.C.

Minister of Health, Hon Dr. Fenton Ferguson, who led the talks, explained to JIS News that the fund was established over 30 years ago to give a single price on pharmaceuticals to nation states in the Americas.

He said that because of developments relating to a “quiet pressure for two-tier prices,” Jamaica and the Caribbean “strongly felt that we needed to preserve that original mandate of the revolving fund, which had to do with equity, quality, Pan Americanism and ensuring that in going forward, we would get the best for our people as it relates to immunization”.

The Minister pointed out that there were also discussions on major health issues facing the region including non-communicable diseases (NCDs), universal health coverage, and human resources for health and immunization.

He told JIS News that there was also focus on the progress of efforts to improve neonatal health in the region; the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis; reducing tobacco consumption and drug abuse; improving workers’ health; and meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to health.

The Minister said that as it relates to the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), which he chairs, a number of issues were discussed including strengthening of the health desk in CARICOM, which is of vital importance to the region.

Dr. Ferguson was one of two persons named Vice Presidents of the 52nd PAHO Directing Council held from September 30 to October 4.

The Council meets yearly – except for every fifth year, when the Pan American Sanitary Conference meets instead –, to set the organization’s policies and priorities.

Delegates included health authorities from PAHO’s 35 member states and representatives of its four associate members, three participating states, and two observer nations.

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