COVID-19: PAHO, ECLAC Urge Acceleration Of Vaccination Processes

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The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) have urged the region’s governments to accelerate vaccination processes, transform health systems, strengthen public investment, and consolidate their welfare states.

In a new joint report released on Thursday, the two organisations indicated that their recommendation was among measures to control the health crisis in the short term and move towards a transformative recovery with equality and environmental sustainability, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the need to formulate a public health agenda with a comprehensive and integrated approach in Latin America and the Caribbean, which recognizes the interdependence of the health, social, economic, and environmental dimensions,” the report said.

It observed that the prolongation of the health crisis is closely related to the slow and uneven progress of vaccination campaigns in the region and the difficulties that countries have had to maintain social and public health measures at adequate levels.

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Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, and Carissa F. Etienne, Director of PAHO, released the document at a press conference.

Etienne observed that the prolongation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world’s most inequitable region had demonstrated health’s centrality for welfare, the economy, and development.

“It is time to transform Latin America and the Caribbean’s health systems based on a primary health care approach, to accelerate the post-pandemic recovery, recoup and maintain achievements in public health and resume the path towards universal health, ensuring access to health,” the PAHO Director asserted.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed just over 1.5 million lives in Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than 45.7 million cases confirmed since its outbreak in the region in February 2020.

The region accounts for nearly one-fifth of all confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and about 30% of all related deaths, despite having only 8.4% of the world’s population.

On average, 39% of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean is fully vaccinated.

Headline photo courtesy PAHO

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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