An arrangement between the Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, and United States Department for Health and Human Services seeks to establish a more collaborative approach to strengthening health systems and services across regions.
An arrangement signed today between the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) and the United States Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) seeks to improve transatlantic collaboration to strengthen global health systems and attain health equity in a post-pandemic context.
The COVID-19 pandemic showed that a health emergency affecting one corner of the world can quickly spread to other regions, crippling even the strongest of health systems – exposing vulnerabilities, including social inequality and health inequity, and threatening global health security.
Taken together, PAHO, WHO/Europe and HHS work across more than 85 countries in the Americas and the WHO European Region. The Collaboration Framework Arrangement will enable them to better meet future health challenges and priorities in the years ahead.
The partnership will cement collaboration across a range of areas, including:
- strengthening global health architecture to make it fit-for-purpose;
- strengthening emergency preparedness, including pandemic preparedness;
- enhancing vaccine manufacturing through public-private partnerships;
- tackling misinformation and disinformation related to health and health care;
- supporting the health workforce through integration and training;
- supporting the health of indigenous populations;
- embedding the ‘One Health’ principle into policy-making across countries and regions;
- enhancing detection of and response to antimicrobial resistance;
- strengthening surveillance for pathogens of concern; and
- coordinating refugee and migrant health, including strengthening border health systems.
“Previous transatlantic partnerships in health focused primarily on supporting the developing world in areas such as vaccines and universal health coverage,” said Dr Jarbas Barbosa, Director of PAHO, an organization which also serves as the WHO Regional Office for the Americas.
“But the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that, without collaboration grounded in equity, the impact on health systems everywhere is tremendous,” added Dr Barbosa. “This new arrangement will enable us to build on our existing transatlantic ties and forge new networks to meet the health needs of people all over the Americas and Europe now and in the future.”
“We face numerous and shared health challenges across the Americas and the European Region, from global warming to ageing populations, from noncommunicable diseases to new and reemerging pathogens, from antibiotic resistance to universal health coverage,” said Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.
“We simply won’t be able to address these challenges alone, and that’s why this transatlantic partnership is so important,” added Dr Kluge. “We also share the Arctic region, home to indigenous communities with unique health needs who stand to benefit from this partnership. With this new arrangement, we hope to supercharge our collaboration across the health spectrum, for the benefit of everyone.”
“The United States and HHS are thankful for partners like WHO/Europe and PAHO who are working tirelessly to provide lifesaving supplies and services to communities across the globe,” said Ms Loyce Pace, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Global Affairs for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
“We know that the global challenges we face won’t be solved by one country alone but by the world coming together and fighting for what’s right,” added Ms Payce. “We have an opportunity to chart a better, healthier and more equitable path for everyone. That’s why HHS is proud to sign on to this transatlantic partnership alongside PAHO and WHO/Europe to promote global health.”