On Monday (26), member countries of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) approved a proposal from Brazil to discuss the issue of polio eradication in the Americas. The proposal was presented during the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference, held in Washington DC, in the United States.
“We know that, thanks to vaccination, polio was eliminated from the Americas in 1994. We were the first region in the world to achieve this result. However, we are in a delicate moment, faced with the threat of the return of poliomyelitis in our region”, said the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, stressing that it is necessary for countries to join efforts to stop any advance of the disease in a timely manner.
At the conference, Queiroga listed guidelines for the elimination and prevention of the disease in the region:
– Promotion of sensitive epidemiological surveillance, which allows the detection and investigation of all cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP);
– Increase in vaccination coverage;
– Elaboration of an updated outbreak response plan, according to the standard operating procedures published by the WHO in July of this year.
The thesis of concentrated effort is in line with the work done in Brazil to prevent the return of the disease in the country. In the country, for vaccination against the virus that causes infantile paralysis, the target audience is more than 14.3 million children under five years of age, with children under 1 year of age having to be immunized according to the situation. vaccine for the primary schedule.
Pan American Sanitary Conference
The Conference is PAHO’s highest governance authority and every five years all its Member States meet to determine their general policies. In 2022, PAHO celebrates its 120th anniversary.
This Monday (26), the Minister of Health also spoke about strengthening the Unified Health System (SUS) to face emergencies, in addition to the importance of Primary Care in disease prevention and health promotion.
“We believe that the essential pillar for dealing with future health emergencies is the strengthening of national health systems. In Brazil, it was based on our Unified Health System, the SUS, that it was possible to control the epidemiological scenario and overcome the health emergency,” he said.
The minister also spoke about Brazil‘s industrial capacity in the area of health. “The strengthening of the health economic-industrial complex is another of our priorities. For this purpose, we have been working to strengthen and expand innovation, research and development capabilities, and the production of tests, treatments and vaccines”, he reinforced.
Also participating in this first day of the Conference were the Director of PAHO, Carissa F. Etienne, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and other authorities.
Ministry of Health
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