Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

 {Photo credit: John Marmion.}A malaria diagnosis and treatment kit is delivered to a gold mining camp in Suriname.Photo credit: John Marmion.

This post originally appeared on the SIAPS blog.

Many countries in Central and South America have made significant progress toward eliminating malaria. Between 2000 and 2012, 13 countries in the Americas saw malaria incidence rates drop by more than 75 percent. Argentina, Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and Paraguay have all reached the pre-elimination phase, a designation given by the World Health Organization (WHO) when countries meet certain critical steps in eliminating the disease and preventing its reintroduction.

While this progress is encouraging, efforts to eliminate and control other global threats like polio illustrate that the last cases are often the most difficult to address. In the case of malaria, fewer cases bring new challenges in ensuring the supply and proper management of antimalarial medicines.

Speakers at the Inaugural Conference on Global Health, Gender and Human Rights. {Photo credit: PAHO/WHO.}Photo credit: PAHO/WHO.

Health is a human right and should not be denied based on any factor, including gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

On March 21 and 22, 2012, law students, global health professionals, and human rights experts gathered at the Inaugural Conference on Global Health, Gender and Human Rights at American University to discuss tackling global health issues from a human rights perspective.

Co-hosted by the American University Washington College of Law, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Guatemala, the two-day conference focused on six crucial topics: disabilities, women's and adolescent girls’ health, gender identities, older persons, access to medicines, and tobacco control.

Speakers and participants articulated the important role gender and human rights play in the promotion of health around the world.

Video that highlights the work of thousands of Tanzanians---mostly women---working as accredited community drug sellers operating in rural areas.Video that highlights the work of thousands of Tanzanians---mostly women---working as accredited community drug sellers operating in rural areas.

Today is International Women’s Day, celebrated around the world as an opportunity to look back on women’s accomplishments and look forward to the realization of their full economic, political, and social rights. The United Nations theme for this year, “Empowering Rural Women,” is one that resonates powerfully with MSH’s work.

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