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Countries in the Americas notified of first COVID-19 vaccine allocations through COVAX - Jan 31, 2021 - 4:07:22 PM

COVAX, a coalition led by WHO and Gavi to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, has notified countries in the Americas of the estimated dose allocation for the first phase of vaccine delivery in a letter to health authorities, the Pan American Health Organization reported today. Thirty-six of the countries and territories participating in COVAX received letters about the estimated number of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that they could be receiving from the second half of February through the second quarter of 2021...
Three variants of the COVID-19 virus found in 14 countries in the Americas, PAHO reports - Jan 28, 2021 - 2:44:01 PM

Three new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which are raising concerns about possible heightened spread and severity of COVID-19, have been detected in 14 countries in the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported in a new Epidemiological Update.
“Mutations are an expected part of the spread of any virus,” said PAHO Incident Manager Sylvain Aldighieri...
PAHO launches app that helps health workers use PPE more effectively - Jan 28, 2021 - 9:14:22 AM

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) today launched MedPPE, a mobile application that provides detailed information on the personal protective equipment that health personnel should use to guard against COVID-19, depending on their role and workplace.

MedPPE emphasizes the role and timing of health workers' jobs and offers specific information to prevent the spread of COVID-19...
With the Americas failing to control coronavirus, many hospitals are at or close to capacity, PAHO director says - Jan 19, 2021 - 5:15:41 PM

“We must intensify public health interventions to limit exposure to this virus”
Washington, D.C., January 19, 2021 (PAHO)— The Region of the Americas must intensify public health interventions on social distancing, limiting gatherings, wearing masks and hand washing to limit exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pan American Health Organization Director Carissa F. Etienne said today.
“Our region, and our world, is failing to control coronavirus. In far too many places public policies are not congruent...
PAHO Director says new variants and acceleration of virus make continuing public health measures urgent - Jan 13, 2021 - 6:49:26 PM

The appearance of new variants of the COVID-19 virus in several countries of the Americas, combined with an acceleration in the virus’s spread in virtually every country in the Americas, makes it critical to continue public health measures such as social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands often, Pan American Health Organization Director Carisa F. Etienne said today...
South America free of smoking in public places, PAHO announces - Jan 8, 2021 - 1:47:53 PM

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) today congratulated Paraguay for banning smoking of lit or electronic tobacco products in enclosed public spaces as well as crowded outdoor places. With this decree, Paraguay joined the rest of South American countries in establishing smoke-free environments in indoor public spaces and workplaces as mandated by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). 
“This is a great achievement for the people of Paraguay,” said PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne...
COVID-19 pandemic swept through the Americas in 2020 - Dec 30, 2020 - 11:12:44 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic swept through every country in the Americas in 2020, infecting more than 35 million people and causing some 850,000 deaths. Globally, COVID-19 affected 216 countries and territories, causing more than 80 million cases and 1.7 million deaths worldwide. The Americas was the most affected continent in a context of large inequities.
Pan American Health Organization Director Carissa F. Etienne called it “the most extraordinary public health event of our lifetimes,” and said the work to control the pandemic in 2021...
PAHO calls for boosting hospital capacity to cope with COVID-19 surge - Dec 9, 2020 - 2:36:29 PM

The Americas has been experiencing “the highest levels of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic” and health authorities should issue clear guidance to protect communities and act to boost hospital capacity in affected areas, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization Dr. Carissa Etienne warned today.
With more than 753,000 deaths and over 28.5 million cases reported in the Americas, “figures and trends make it clear that our region must redouble preventive measures, especially in preparation for the year-end holidays...
PAHO and ECLAC seek to improve the supply of medical products during emergencies in Latin America and the Caribbean - Dec 7, 2020 - 4:25:10 PM

With the aim of preventing interruptions in medical product supplies during future health emergencies, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) convened a dialogue between the health, industry, and science and technology sectors in the region.

"The scarcity of medical products can cause disruptions in health care and put health and life at risk," said PAHO Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne....
New CARICOM-EU project will tackle climate change and its health impacts in the Caribbean - Dec 2, 2020 - 5:50:33 PM

International, regional, and government leaders announced the launch of a broad-based project to support actions to mitigate climate change and its serious health impacts in Caribbean nations. The EU/CARIFORUM Strengthening Climate Resilient Health Systems Project – a joint project of the European Union and CARICOM that PAHO is coordinating – will advance public understanding of climate change effects and strengthen the ability of health systems to respond to climate-related health impacts...
Countries urged to face challenge of better access to health for populations of African descent in COVID-19 pandemic - Dec 2, 2020 - 2:41:55 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic “disproportionally affects the most vulnerable – especially our populations of African descent” and PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne today urged health authorities to “face this pressing challenge.”
In a press briefing, Etienne said, “We’re taking this issue as a priority and mainstreaming it into our programs,” focusing on better data for targeted prevention and care...
Public health measures important as holiday season starts, PAHO says - Nov 25, 2020 - 3:14:43 PM

Holiday season gatherings and travel involve risks and people should follow guidance of national and local health authorities to make the holidays as safe as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic, Pan American Health Organization Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa said today.

“During a pandemic, there is no such thing as a risk-free holiday season. Every gathering, every shopping trip, and every travel plan increases the chances of spreading the virus,” Barbosa told a press briefing in Washington...
Vaccinating 20% of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean is projected to cost over $2 billion - Nov 18, 2020 - 2:45:11 PM

Delivering vaccines for COVID-19 “will be challenging and costly “so it is vital that countries start preparing now,” said Jarbas Barbosa, Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organization during a press briefing today. Projections for Latin America and the Caribbean show that vaccinating 20% of the population will cost more than $2 billion dollars...
PAHO outlines best practices to control COVID-19 pandemic - Nov 11, 2020 - 3:21:02 PM

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) today outlined best practices in a guide to help countries decide which measures to implement to control the COVID-19 pandemic and for how long, based on how the virus spreading and the characteristics of their health systems.
“We are hopeful that with this guidance, countries will be better able to tailor their responses...
Countries are falling short in implementing mental health services during COVID-19 pandemic - Nov 5, 2020 - 7:03:09 PM

A new survey conducted by PAHO and WHO shows that countries are falling short in implementing mental health services at a time when mental health support is paramount, according to PAHO Assistant Director, Jarbas Barbosa.
In a press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic today, Dr. Barbosa said, “Data from 29 countries show that while 27 of them have integrated mental health...
Indigenous and Afro-descendant voices must be front and center of COVID-19 response in the Americas, says PAHO - Oct 30, 2020 - 8:38:46 PM

If no one is to be left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts must be stepped up to ensure a strong and coordinated response with indigenous organizations and leaders, Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Mary Lou Valdez, said today.
Speaking at the first of two High-Level Regional Meetings – The Impact of COVID-19 on indigenous peoples in the region of the Americas: Perspectives and opportunities, Valdez emphasized the health inequalities faced by these populations...
Malaria Champions awarded prizes for work in the Americas - Oct 28, 2020 - 10:52:26 PM

Six municipalities were awarded “Malaria Champions of the Americas” prizes for 2020 for their work in applying effective, safe malaria interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic in four countries. 

The awards were presented at a Malaria Day in the Americas event today by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation, and other partners...
For World Polio Day, PAHO encourages countries to maintain polio vaccination to prevent outbreaks - Oct 23, 2020 - 5:42:29 PM

Countries in the Americas must maintain polio vaccination and epidemiological surveillance during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to prevent outbreaks, say experts at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The reminder comes on the eve of World Polio Day, observed October 24.

While the Americas was the first region to be declared polio-free more than 25 years ago, that achievement needs can only be protected with continued vaccination and strong surveillance. “Although as a region we have defeated polio once before, if we allow vaccination coverage rates to fall and become too low...
Work to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is faster than ever but safety and efficacy processes remain unchanged, PAHO Director says - Oct 21, 2020 - 4:32:42 PM

While the Americas urgently awaits a breakthrough, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will only support the distribution of a vaccine that has proven to be safe and effective in clinical trials, reviewed by National Regulatory Authorities and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), PAHO Director Carissa F Etienne, said today.
“It is important to emphasize that while we’re working to develop a vaccine faster than ever before, the process to guarantee its safety and efficacy is unchanged,” Etienne told a press briefing in Washington, DC...
New rapid antigen tests could transform COVID-19 response in the Americas - Oct 14, 2020 - 10:57:20 PM

The new affordable, reliable antigen diagnostic tests recently approved by WHO that can be performed anywhere are set to transform the region’s COVID-19 response by allowing health workers to carry out accurate, rapid testing, even in remote communities, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F Etienne, said today. 
Unlike previous rapid, antibody tests, which can show when someone has had COVID-19 but often give a negative result during the early stages of infection, the new rapid, antigen tests are much more accurate in determining if someone is currently infected

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