Countries of the Americas adopt ambitious agenda to build sustainable and universal health by 2030

Washington, D.C., 27 September 2017 (PAHO/WHO) — Health leaders from
throughout the Americas have endorsed an ambitious and wide-ranging agenda for
fighting diseases and making their countries’ health systems universal and sustainable
by the year 2030.
The Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas 2030 (SHAA2030)—which takes
inspiration from the global UN Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030—was
unanimously adopted during the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference, meeting this
week at the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
in Washington, D.C.
The new agenda commits countries to pursuing 11 goals (see below) and 60 targets that
will be used to measure progress toward those goals. They range from achieving
universal health coverage to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Americas, all by the
target year 2030.
In launching the new agenda, PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne said it is a prime example
of the public health leadership the Region of the Americas has shown for more than a
century.
“I believe if any region can bring this agenda to reality it is the Americas region,” she said.
“It is because of our solidarity, our commitment and our passion that we can make it
happen.”
Building on progress, striving for equity
The agenda’s 11 goals cover a range of action areas deemed essential for strengthening
countries’ health systems to ensure their efficiency, effectiveness, equity and
sustainability, with the ultimate goal of guaranteeing that all people have access to the
health care they need when they need it, without fear of financial difficulty.
The agenda builds on progress made in the first part of the 20th century toward achieving
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as goals set in the Health Agenda for
the Americas 2008-2017, which was adopted by PAHO Member States in 2007.
That regional health progress includes an increase of 3.2 years in average life expectancy
between 2000 and 2015, significant reductions in infant mortality, and major declines in
communicable diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. The Region has also
reached three historic health milestones so far this century: the elimination of endemic
measles circulation (in 2016) and the elimination of rubella and congenital rubella
syndrome (in 2015).

Despite this progress, significant health gaps remain between low- and higher-income
countries of the Region and between different population groups within countries. In the
new Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas, countries have agreed to prioritize
actions that will help ensure that future health progress is more equitable, so that no
country or population group is left behind.
“Until every man, woman and child can live a life that is healthy and productive, we will
have failed, and I don’t want the next generation to say, ‘what did they do,’” said Etienne.
“Let’s go forward with the commitment that we will reach everyone who is not being
reached.”
Goals of the Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas
1 – Expand equitable access to comprehensive, integrated, quality, people-, family-, and
community-centered health services, with an emphasis on health promotion and illness
prevention.
2 – Strengthen stewardship and governance of the national health authority (ministries of
health), while promoting social participation.
3 – Strengthen the management and development of human resources for health with
skills that facilitate a comprehensive approach to health.
4 – Achieve adequate and sustainable health financing with equity and efficiency, and
advance toward protection against financial risks for all persons and their families.
5 – Ensure access to essential medicines and vaccines and to other priority health
technologies, according to available scientific evidence and the national context.

6 – Strengthen information systems for health to support the development of evidence-
based policies and decision-making.

7 – Develop capacity for the generation, transfer, and use of evidence and knowledge in
health, promoting research, innovation, and the use of technology.
8 – Strengthen national and regional capacities to prepare for, prevent, detect, monitor,
and respond to disease outbreaks and emergencies and disasters that affect the health
of the population.
9 – Reduce morbidity, disabilities, and mortality from noncommunicable diseases, injuries,
violence, and mental health disorders.
10 – Reduce the burden of communicable diseases and eliminate neglected diseases.
11 – Reduce inequality and inequity in health through intersectoral, multisectoral, regional,
and subregional approaches to the social and environmental determinants of health.

Ministers of health from throughout the Americas are meeting this week at PAHO to
discuss public health policies, address health challenges, and guide the organization’s
technical cooperation in each country.
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The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) works with the countries of the Americas
to improve the health and quality of life of its population. Founded in 1902, it is the world’s
oldest international public health agency. It serves as the Regional Office of WHO for the
Americas and is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American system.
LINKS
Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas 2018-2030 (full document)
http://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=419
46&Itemid=270&lang=en
Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas 2018-2030 (web
page) http://www.paho.org/health-agenda-americas
Special side event on the Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas (Livestream
recording)
https://livestream.com/pahotv/29PASC/videos/163402463
CONTACTS:

Leticia Linn, Phone. + 1 202 974 3440, Mobile: +1 202 701 4005, E-
mail: linnl@paho.org; Sebastián Oliel, Phone: +1 202 974 3459, Mobile: +1 202 316

5679, E-mail: oliels@paho.org; Daniel Epstein, Phone. +1 202 974 3579, E-
mail: epsteind@paho.org. PAHO/WHO: www.paho.org

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