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CARICOM Health Ministers will meet in caucus in Washington D.C., this weekend, ahead of the 28th Pan-American Sanitary Conference and the 64th Session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization for the Americas to be held next week.?? Barbados will be represented by Minister of Health, Donville Inniss; Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St. John; and the Ambassador to the U.S., John Beale.

During the conference, which will take place at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), member states will elect the next Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau. The new Director will begin a five-year term on February 1, 2013, taking over from Dr. Mirta Roses Periago of Argentina, who has been serving as Director of PAHO since February 1, 2003.

Member states will also decide on the admission of Aruba, Cura??ao, and St. Maarten, as associate members of PAHO/WHO.

For five days, the health leaders will analyse the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, integrated child health, and health-related knowledge management and communication. They will also discuss the coordination of health-related international humanitarian assistance in disasters, progress in the area of gender equality, and HIV/AIDS prevention and control, among other related topics.

In addition, the Director of PAHO, Dr. Periago, will present the organisation’s quinquennial report, which highlights the public health achievements of the past decade and imminent challenges.

PAHO, which celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, is the world’s oldest public health organisation. It works with the countries of this hemisphere to improve the health and quality of life of the peoples of the Americas.?? It serves as the WHO Regional Office for the Americas.


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