Strong Efforts Needed for Guyana And Haiti To Reach U.N. Goals
Washington, D.C., August 18, 2005 (PAHO)—A stronger effort will be needed for Guyana and Haiti to reach the public health objectives of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, a set of principles for international health cooperation, according to two officials of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Dr. Teófilo Monteiro and Paulo Teixeira made this statement this week as they joined the efforts of PAHO's representatives in Guyana and Haiti.
In their respective statements, the two PAHO officials referred to the achievements and the deficiencies in those two nations when it comes to public health. At the same time, they outlined PAHO's plans for those two nations – which receive priority treatment – for the 2006-2007 period.
Monteiro, an advisor on environmental health, pointed out the percentages in the increase in the access to safe water and health services reached in Guyana between 1990 and 2004. However, despite the improvement in Guyana's public health services, Monteiro stressed the need to continue working and seek to increase multi-sectoral assistance with government officials, aid agencies and civil society. Monteiro stressed particularly the efforts being made in the issue of solid waste and those seeking to improve the nationwide access to water for general consumption.
Among the key elements of the cooperation of PAHO's office in Guyana Monteiro pointed out the strategy of strengthening the organization's role as a liaison with the various partners that work toward a common agenda. Together with other elements, Monteiro also stressed the importance that PAHO help Guyana's Health Ministry in the implementation and monitoring of the methodology recommended for development.
The basis of PAHO's task in Guyana on issues such as sustainable development and environmental health, according to Monteiro, "is to make sure that we effectively incorporate environmental health and sustainable development into national policies and actions, including political, scientific and legal guidelines for the human environment."
Teixeira, speaking on behalf of the Environmental Health and Health Promotion program of PAHO's office in Haiti, emphasized the organization's change in perspective and approach in the impoverished Caribbean nation where – as Teixeira explained – only peace and development will make it possible to have a healthy environment in Haiti, one that will be able to turn around the Haitians' endemic crisis. "In Haiti, the issue of peace is more important than any other need," Teixeira said. "To speak of peace in Haiti is not a rhetorical matter. It's a necessity."
The new strategy of cooperation moves away from what Teixeira described as a "unique model" and moves towards a "different" model of diversified cooperation within the area of the capital city, Port-au-Prince, and the interior of the country (Aquin and Port Salut). There, the activity will raise to a maximum the impact of cooperation through sectoral approaches that, in turn, will efficiently utilize the technical, human and financial resources to move toward the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals.
Teixeira said that during the 2006-2007 period the challenges faced by PAHO in Haiti include, among others, the eradication of urban malaria, environmental improvements to reduce in a 20% the diseases caused by water and the lack of hygiene, and the promotion of health as part of human development with the enabling of health factors as a foundation for community initiatives.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) was established in 1902 and is the world's oldest public health organization. PAHO works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of its people. PAHO serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).
PAHO Member States today include all 35 countries in the Americas. France, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are Participating States. Portugal and Spain are Observer States. The U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an Associate Member.