Issue No. 02 [2011]
PAHO, Catalyst for Health in the Americas. Health: Our Most Basic Asset.
February 4, 2011
PAHO Director calls to Unite to stop the epidemic of NCDs, a global epidemic that demand a global response.

WHO-Wide Planning Meeting for the United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases

Washington DC. PAHO HQ.
3 February 2011.

The clock is counting down to a historic moment in the fight against chronic diseases such as cardio vascular disease (CVD), cancer, diabetes and obesity, and chronic respiratory disease, and associated risk factors like unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol that are causing millions of premature deaths per year and have become the major cost-driver in health for most countries. Dr. Roses at the opening of the WHO-wide planning meeting that is taking place at PAHO headquarters for the preparation of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases next September 2011.

On 10 May 2010, the General Assembly resolved to stage a High-level Meeting of heads of state and government to tackle the health, development and socioeconomic impacts of NCDs, the second one UN High-level Meeting to be devoted to a health issue.

Awareness about how these diseases inflict in both health and economic terms is at its highest level in decades, as is global willingness to make a shift in the way we protect populations from NCDs in both health and economic terms. The United Nations family and governments worldwide, as well as civil society and members of the private sector are anxious to ensure that next September achieves a truly historic set of results in the fight against NCDs.

The statistics are clear: 35 million people die annually (or over 60% of all deaths globally) from the four major chronic diseases: cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. Over 9 million of these people were aged under 60 years old, representing lives that are lost prematurely. And the overwhelming majority of these premature deaths are occurring in developing nations.

According to Dr. Roses, the UN NCDs HLM/Summit in September represents a unique policy window opening to:

- Put NCDs prevention and control on the global development and economic agenda
- Stimulate a multi-sectoral response which saves lives and suffering
- Decrease the upward spiral of health costs, and
- Increase growth and productivity prospects.

"NCDs are linked to deeper social and environmental determinants such as access to services, agri-food policies, transport and urban planning; education and social protection policies; poverty and economic development, behavioral changes and incorporation of global trends of choices and adoption of foreign cultural models.

And that is why we need a UN HLM, to raise awareness at the highest level, and stimulate an "all of society" response to address this most important public health challenge in global health, to generate multi sector action to implement the proven cost-effective measures like tobacco control, dietary salt reduction, scale up access to preventive care for CVD, transform diets and levels of physical activity to combat obesity, which has emerged in the last 2 decades as a major problem. The need for the all of society response is the reason that we are committed to build a multi-partner Partners Forum to take joint action between sectors and we offer to share the experiences, in what is not an easy task - innovation."

- Dr Roses speech at the opening session »

- See: PAHO Director's Public Gallery »

Spain, PAHO Sign €12.5 million Plan to Improve Health in the Americas
España y OPS firman acuerdo por 12,5 millones de Euros para mejorar la salud en las Américas

OPS. Washington DC. 1 Febrero 2011.

El embajador Javier Sancho Velázquez, representante de España ante la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), firma un acuerdo con la directora de la OPS, Mirta Roses, por el que se otorgan 12,5 millones de euros (unos $18 millones) para mejorar la salud pública en América Latina y el Caribe durante los próximos 12 meses.

Los fondos, procedentes del Gobierno de España, ayudarán a la OPS a llevar a cabo proyectos y programas destinados a ampliar el acceso a la atención de salud y los medicamentos esenciales, mejorar las políticas sanitarias, promover la prevención, combatir las enfermedades desatendidas, fortalecer los recursos humanos para la salud, fomentar la investigación y mejorar el financiamiento, organización y prestación de los servicios de salud.

- Leer más »
- Read more »

- Ver: PAHO Director's Public Gallery »


PAHO Director, guest speaker at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting
Directora de OPS, en la reunión anual del Foro Económico Global
World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2011.
Time to Think Long Term about Shared Values.
To achieve a stable world based on shared norms, greater collaboration is needed among all stakeholders.

Davos-Klosters. Geneva, Switzerland.
26-30 January 2011.

Mega-Regions or Mega-Problems?
01/27/2011. Congress Centre, Wisshorn.

Dr. Mirta Roses, Regional Director for the Americas of the World Health Organization and currently chair of the Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Chronic Diseases and Wellbeing from the World Economic Forum (WEF) participated in the 41st World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011 hold in Davos-Klosters, Geneva, with the participation of over 2,500 leaders from business, government and civil society. The theme of the five-day meeting was "Shared Norms for the New Reality" and participants focused on defining the new reality facing the globe and discussed which shared norms are needed for improving global cooperation in a new era.

During the five-day event, PAHO Director had the opportunity to participate in several sessions and events among others related to: Personalized Medicine: How will genomics and personalized medicine change our lives in the decade to come?; The Science Agenda in 2011: What are the trends and norms shaping the science agenda in 2011?; Healthy Norms, Longer Lives: Seventy per cent of premature deaths are linked to unhealthy behavior. What are the simple steps we can take to live longer, healthier lives?; Health Nightcap with Social Entrepreneurs, Young Global Leaders and CEOs: What are the new ideas that are revolutionizing the way we think, communicate and deliver health?; Combating Chronic Disease: With chronic disease causing nearly 60% of all deaths, how should the public and private sectors work together to combat diabetes, cancer, and heart and lung diseases?; Healthy Living: How to Reverse Stress and Sedentary Lifestyles?: Good health can no longer be the concern of hospitals, doctors and Ministries of Health. To face future global health challenges and their social and economic impact, there is a need for conducive environments which encompass homes, schools, workplaces and communities. This is especially true for chronic diseases, which require long term-behavioral change; Raising Healthy Children: How can disease and mortality rates among children in developing countries be radically decreased?

- Read more »



4 February 2011

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Americas region, where there were an estimated 2.5 million new cancer cases and 1.2 million cancer deaths annually in 2008. The most common cancers in the Region include: prostate, lung, colorectal and stomach cancers in men; and breast, lung, colorectal and cervix cancers in women. With an aging population, and with the epidemiological transition in Latin America and the Caribbean, the cancer burden is projected to increase significantly.

Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO/WHO)

How to Prevent Cancer and other Chronic Diseases:
- World Cancer Day launch of the Latin America and Caribbean “AICR/PAHO Regional Summary” of Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention »

- PAHO Health Topic: Cancer »

- UICC. World Cancer Day 2011 »

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and its partner organisations will run campaigns all over the world to raise awareness for a disease that causes millions of deaths every year, many of which could have been prevented.
- UICC Global Cancer Control »

World Health Organization (WHO)
Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. WHO estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Each year on 4 February, WHO supports International Union Against Cancer (UICC) to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer. Preventing cancer and raising quality of life for cancer patients are recurring themes.

- WHO Press Release: New physical activity guidance can help reduce risk of breast, colon cancers »

CEPAL/ECLAC Regional Coordination Mtg (RCM) (UNDG)
Meeting of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Latin America and the Caribbean
Reunión del Mecanismo de Coordinación Regional (RCM) para ALC en CEPAL (UNDG)

ECLAC. Santiago, Chile.
8-9 February 2011.

Dr. Mirta Roses, director of the Pan American Health Organization, member of the UN Regional Director Group (RDG) for Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) will be participating in the upcoming meetings of the UNDG Regional Coordination Mechanism Meeting and the UNDG LAC Meeting in Chile.


- Latin America and the Caribbean: Overview of the political situation and the strategic contribution of the UN System to regional cooperation.
- Latin America and the Caribbean. Overview of the economic, political and social situation
- Strengthening regional sytem-wide cohesion in gender affairs

The event feature the participation of Ms. Asha Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General; José Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General, Organization of American States (videoconference); Oscar Fernández-Taranco, Assistant of UN Secretary-General, Department of Political Affairs (video-conference); Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC; Mr. Nicolas Eyzaguirre, Director Western Hemisphere, IMF; Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Under Secretary-General, UN Women; Ms. Marcela Suazo, Regional Director UNFPA; Mrs. Mirta Roses, Director PAHO.

UNDG LAC meeting

Regional United Nations Development Group Team for Latin American and the Caribbean

Santiago de Chile, Chile.
10-11 February 2011.


- UN's role in Middle Income Countries and Net-Contributing Countries
- UNDG LAC humanitarian priorities in LAC for 2011
- Status of the situation in Haiti – one year on
- UNDAF support in 2011
- UNDG LAC work plan for 2011

The Regional UNDG Team for Latin American and the Caribbean (UNDG LAC) aims to enhance UN System-wide coherence at the regional level and support UN Country Teams at the country level in order to deliver as one and achieve sustainable human development for all. The UNDG LAC counts a total of 20 UN agencies/entities as regular members: ECLAC (the Regional Commission), FAO, ILO, OCHA, OHCHR, PAHO/WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UN-HABITAT, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNISDR, UNESCO, UNIFEM/UN WOMEN, UNODC, UNOPS, and WFP.

As the regional representatives of the Global UN Development Group, the UNDG LAC addresses key issues together, including: support for UN Country Teams in strategic programming, common UN development assistance frameworks (UNDAF), and joint programmes; inter-agency support for crisis and emergency prevention and response; RC and UNCT appraisal and accountability; and problem-solving and troubleshooting in cases of internal situations or political tensions in countries in the region.

Specific focus is concentrated on the issue of inequality and excluded and/or vulnerable group (indigenous, afro-descendant, women, and children), including at sub-national level in middle-income countries, and models for UN service-delivery in such contexts; environmental degradation and climate change; and sub-regional and cross-border issues.

- The Regional UNDG Team for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDG LAC) »

- UNDG LAC Team »

- 2010 UNDG LAC Meetings & Minutes »




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About Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago
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