mosca-negraUnder the 53rd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), held in Washington, Minister of Health Mercedes Juan announced that Mexico will request the Certification of Elimination of Human Onchocerciasis to the World Health Organization (WHO). With this action begins Mexico’s final process to get this recognition.

In front of the plenum of the 35 delegations attending and the PAHO General Director Carissa Etienne, the federal official highlighted the work done by this organization to design strategies for eradicating diseases like malaria and onchocerciasis.

Likewise, in the case of malaria, she said that the collaboration with the Global Fund under the guidance of PAHO began, in order to share successful strategies implemented in other countries.

The Minister welcomed the inclusion of the subjects ‘health’s social determinants’ and ‘chronic non-transmissible diseases’, as a priority in the meeting; plus highlighted the leadership of Dr. Etienne in front of the PAHO.

She emphasized that Mexico, as many other countries in the world, has two serious public health problems: obesity and diabetes. Therefore the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto launched the National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Overweight, Obesity and Diabetes since last year. This strategy is based on three pillars:

The first refers to public health; which includes several campaigns to encourage healthy behavior, and physical activity habits, as well as establish guidelines regarding the consumption of food and beverages in schools.

The second is to strengthen health care; focusing on primary care, so that the Republic’s states have been equipped with innovative technologies to monitor and address the problems of obesity and diabetes.

The third pillar is focused on food labeling and the advertising banning during children’s schedules. It also includes taxation on sugary drinks and high-calorie foods, which has been reflected on their reducing consumption among the population.

Otherwise, she said that the COFEPRIS, the Mexican health regulatory agency, has been already qualified with Level Four on vaccines by WHO. Also, she reported that our country has universal coverage against Human Papillomavirus in girls aged between nine and 11 years.

Finally, the Minister of Health reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to support the region, in order to achieve an inclusive and equitable development of the population.

As part of this encounter, the Secretary also held a bilateral meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia M. Burwell, during which they signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to reaffirm the commitment of both nations working coordinately to address public health problems.

Through: Secretaría de Salud – Mexico Ministry of Health