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Panama City, March 17, 2023 (PAHO) – In his 1st nation go to considering the fact that taking workplace, the Director of the Pan American Overall health Organization (PAHO), Jarbas Barbosa, met with the President of Republic of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, and other national authorities to advance well being priorities of regional value.  

Throughout the meeting, President Cortizo Cohen and the PAHO Director discussed the need to have to strengthen regional manufacturing capacities for medicines and well being technologies, the digital transformation of well being systems and actions to mitigate the well being influence of climate transform, amongst other subjects.  

“Panama is a crucial PAHO Member State and strategic companion for the area,” Dr. Barbosa mentioned, highlighting the country’s leadership in the fight against non-communicable illness (NCDs). “Panama’s policies to decrease tobacco, implement the HEARTS initiative for the management of cardiovascular illnesses and efforts to boost front-package labeling can serve as an instance to other nations,” the Director mentioned.  

President Cortizo Cohen thanked the PAHO Director for the “excellent relationship” among Panama and PAHO and commended the Organization’s very important help to the nation in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also highlighted PAHO’s help in the digital transformation of Panama’s well being technique and underscored Panama’s strategic and logistical capacities for the distribution and doable future production of medicines in the area.  

Throughout the meeting, the President and the Director also discussed crucial lessons from the pandemic, which brought to the fore the need to have for additional equitable access to well being supplies, medicines and vaccines amongst nations.  

The PAHO Director emphasized the value of active regional participation in the International Negotiating Physique (INB) for the new pandemic instrument, which will be place forward for adoption by Planet Overall health Organization (WHO) Member States in 2024. “We have a exclusive window of chance to include things like equitable access into an international agreement,” Dr. Barbosa mentioned. “If we do not use it, we may possibly be in the similar devastating circumstance in the subsequent well being emergency, exactly where marketplace guidelines protect against access to life-saving vaccines to smaller sized or significantly less economically effective nations.”  

Throughout his go to to Panama, Dr. Barbosa also met with other national authorities and partners. On Thursday, he met with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Franco, exactly where they discussed help to the well being of migrants, amongst other subjects.   

The PAHO Director also met with Dr. Luis Francisco Sucre, Panama’s Minister of Overall health, to talk about subjects such as advancing telehealth, strengthening key care to also cover NCD’s, and response to infectious illness outbreaks, such as malaria.  “PAHO will continue to operate closely with Panama to advance these regions,” Dr. Barbosa mentioned.   

The PAHO Director visited the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory (Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas de Estudios de la Salud – ICGES), exactly where he met Director Juan Miguel Pascale. He thanked him for the institute’s help to Central American nations in tracking COVID-19 variants in the course of the pandemic, adding that the hopes to improve collaboration to strengthen regional surveillance capacity for other pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. 

Dr. Barbosa’s go to also integrated discussions with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Panama, Ana Patricia Graça, and with representatives of quite a few UN agencies with which PAHO collaborates closely on the ground, which includes UNAIDS, FAO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and OCHA. “Health is crucial to improvement,” the Director mentioned, underscoring that PAHO will continue functioning with UN partners to “seek revolutionary options to decrease inequalities and advance the Sustainable Improvement Objective.”  

Panama became a PAHO Member State in 1947, and shortly following signed a cooperation agreement for technical help to help national public well being projects.