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PAHO Congratulates PM for Achievements in Health Sector

As we noted earlier, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization 9PAHO) is on a working visit to Belize as of Sunday.  Today she paid a courtesy call to the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow where she congratulated him on the country’s success in promoting immunization and subsequently having a dramatic reduction of the burden of malaria.  Dr Carissa Etienne noted that due to the high rates of vaccination, the country has been able to eliminate measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome as has the rest of the region which is the first to have achieved this.  Prime Minister Barrow was also congratulated on the additional investments made in health referring to the country’s budget allotted to this sector.  Other subjects discussed during Etienne’s meeting with Barrow included progress toward the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis, efforts to strengthen Belize’s health system to advance toward universal access and universal coverage as well as tobacco regulation, taxes on sugary beverages, and food labeling to warn consumers about high levels of salt, sugar, and fats in processed foods. Also participating in the meeting was Minister of Health Pablo Marin; Angel Campos, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health with emphasis on primary health care and national health insurance (NHI); PAHO Chief of Staff Merle Lewis; and PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize Luis Roberto Escoto.