St Vincent are among countries are expected to benefit from a multi-million dollar agreement signed between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
USAID will provide more than US$31 million to improve health in Latin America and the Caribbean over the next five years and PAHO said the partnership will support its technical cooperation in its member states in areas including tuberculosis, malaria, neglected infectious diseases, maternal and neonatal health and inequities related to gender, ethnicity and other social determinants.
The agreement also supports efforts to strengthen health information systems, as well as health systems overall, PAHO said.
“We are proud of the many health achievements that our work with USAID has produced in our member countries, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue this partnership to build on those achievements,” said PAHO Dominican-born Director Carissa F. Etienne.
“We very much look forward to working together over the next five years.”
PAHO said it has worked with USAID for nearly three decades to improve the health and lives of people in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“This collaboration has led to health progress including the eradication of river blindness from several of the region’s countries, continuing declines in malaria cases and deaths in 19 of the 21 endemic countries, and the attainment of most of the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” PAHO said.
“At the same time, this joint work has also highlighted the need for innovative strategies to build further on the progress achieved.”
USAID’s Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, Marcela Escobari, said “we are encouraged by the gains that the health sector in Latin America and the Caribbean has made in the decades since USAID first embarked on partnership with PAHO.
“Together, with local ministries of health, we continue to help improve affordable access to quality health care for the most vulnerable people in the region,” said Escobari.
PAHO said the new agreement will support continuing and new efforts to build “strong, sustainable and equitable health systems” and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the long-term goal of achieving universal health.
The new agreement includes support for PAHO as technical secretariat for a Promise Renewed for the Americas, an initiative to reduce inequities and accelerate improvements in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health. Other partners include UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank.