PAHO IFMSA’s Delegation

Dear IFMSA members and friends,

It is with a lot of excitement that we are attending, on behalf of IFMSA, the 51st meeting of the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Regrouping all the countries of America from Canada to Argentina, the PAHO meeting taking place in Washington D.C. from 26-30 September 2011 is a crucial week of the year to discuss global health issues from a regional perspective.

The Directing Council agenda this week includes safe motherhood and reproductive health, climate change, road safety, harmful use of alcohol, psychoactive substance use, non-communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance and much more.

Today a new President of the Directing Council was elected, Mr. Franklin Vergara of Panama. We also adopted the financial report and the Strategy and Plan of Action on Urban Health as a first subject of discussion.

Urban health is a major concern for the region of America where the urban population has grown by 187% since 1970. Rapid urbanization can affect climate change and therefore, health. Urbanization is also associated violence, alcohol abuse and tobacco use. Did you know, for example, that the degree of urbanization is higher in more urbanized areas of developing nations due to the greater exposure of urban populations to aggressive marketing and weak regulatory environments?

If you want to learn more about urban health, check out the Strategy and Plan of Action on Urban Health DC51/5:

We will try to keep you updated during the week on each day’s discussions via blog and Twitter.

We are also working on 3 statements and, if everything goes well, we should be able to present an intervention on safe motherhood and universal access to sexual and reproductive health tomorrow afternoon. A special thanks to Nilofer Khan Habibullah for her help and contribution to this intervention.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any comments or suggestions.

Truly yours,

Anne-Sophie Thommeret-Carrière, IFMSA-Québec
Élizabeth Wiley, AMSA-USA
Gabriela Noles, IFMSA-Peru

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