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IDB and PAHO Join Forces to Drive Digital Health and Pandemic Preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean

IDB and PAHO Join Forces to Drive Digital Health and Pandemic Preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean

Washington, D.C., 25 April 2024 (PAHO) – The president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Ilan Goldfajn, and the director of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), Jarbas Barbosa, signed an agreement to accelerate the digital transformation of health services, strengthen primary healthcare, and enhance pandemic preparedness across Latin America and the Caribbean region.

The new agreement will focus on three priority areas: health systems strengthening based on primary health care; information systems and digital health; and pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

Dr. Barbosa welcomed the agreement and the opportunity to work together with the IBD. “This collaboration will be essential to take more effective actions towards a healthier future for everyone in the region,” he said.

To support countries of the region in strengthening health systems, PAHO and IDB will work together in identifying resources and supporting the development of investment plans to increase the access, coverage and quality of health services based on Primary Health Care. To achieve this, they will also collaborate with other partners and organizations, including the Alliance for Primary Health Care (A4PHC) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank).

“There is an urgent need for better health care in countries across the hemisphere,” said IDB President Ilan Goldfajn. “This agreement will help us better promote and protect the wellbeing of people and communities throughout the region by working together to improve primary care, digitalize health care services and prepare for potential future pandemics.”

As part of the new agreement, the two organizations will also provide technical, financial and operational assistance to ensure that people, communities, providers and decision-makers have the necessary digital health tools to improve access and coverage, as well as to make evidence-based decisions in public health. This also includes support for the implementation of the Pan-American Highway for Digital Health, the Regional Roadmap for the Digital Transformation of the Health Sector and the renewed Plan of Action for the strengthening of information systems for health 2024-2030. Last March, Japan became the donor of the Pan-American Highway with a contribution of US$5 million.

PAHO and the IDB will also work to strengthen countries’ capacity to prepare and respond effectively to emergencies and disasters, as a key component of essential public health factors. This will include collaboration to support countries in the implementation of the Voluntary External Evaluations of core capacities of the International Health Regulations (IHR), as well as in the preparation of proposals for submission to the Pandemic Fund. 

Por: Oscar Reyes

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