Democracy, development, and health are concepts that are intrinsically related, noted the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, in his speech today before the opening session of PAHO’s 52nd Directing Council and 65th Session of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Americas.
Insulza stressed that the region will reach most of the health goals of the Millennium Development Goals proposed for 2015. He attributed this achievement to joint coordinated national, regional, and international action.He also emphasized the role of PAHO and the OAS in Haiti in responding to the cholera epidemic and in strengthening Haitian public institutions.
Insulza thanked PAHO for its collaboration in a report about the drug problem in the Americas, which concluded that this issue is primarily a health problem and that the reduction in drug consumption requires a public health approach.
The OAS Secretary General highlighted the regional progress and achievements in health as well as the areas that require further work, such as universal access to quality health services and a reduction in deaths from tuberculosis, dengue, influenza, and HIV, among others. “We are certain that we are moving in the right direction,” he said.