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Pan American Health Organization lists 10 key health issues for the Americas in 2021 

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Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2021. 9:53 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Even supranational organizations like the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have new year’s resolutions. 

Its list of the ten key health issues for the Americas in 2021 doesn’t stop at COVID-19, with other key issues including universal healthcare access, health inequities, drug resistance, noncommunicable diseases, and other obstacles to health and well-being. 

As the region begins the historic task of vaccinating some 465 million people against COVID-19 while continuing the testing and treatment essential to fighting the pandemic on all fronts, PAHO promises to “work side by side with ministries of health …emphasize the need for countries to work together, involve entire governments, not just health sectors, and make sure that no one is left behind by any health initiative. PAHO will support countries in building strong health systems and healthy populations, despite the unprecedented crisis of our second pandemic year.” 

Its ten resolutions are: 1) Build solidarity for health security; 2) Speed up access to COVID-19 tests, medicines, and vaccines; 3) Advance health for all; 4) Revitalize efforts to tackle communicable diseases; 5) Tackling health inequities; 6) Combat drug resistance;  7) Prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental health conditions; 8) Provide regional leadership on science, data science, and digital transformation; 9) act in solidarity and, 10) call for global action to address health inequities jointly with the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 7, World Health Day.  

Other priorities include ensuring equitable, gender- and culturally sensitive COVID-19 responses, especially access to vaccines, within a human rights framework and generating conditions that allow for a post-COVID-19 recovery – build back better – with a special focus on the most affected populations in situations of vulnerability. 

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