Government of Canada reinforces health partnerships in the Americas

News release

September 29, 2022 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada

Helping people achieve their optimal health is a collective responsibility of all nations and we must leverage lessons learned and move forward with innovative, transformative and compassionate solutions to help reduce disparities at all levels.

This past week, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, attended the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference, a high-level event convened every five years by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). This year’s Conference is taking place within a historic period for PAHO, as it celebrates its 120th anniversary and elects a new Director. On behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, Canada congratulates PAHO’s newly elected Director Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr, and looks forward to working closely with him to further strengthen our continued engagement with this critical organization.

During the opening ceremonies, Dr. Tam re-affirmed Canada’s commitment to addressing social, environmental and economic determinants of health as key drivers of health inequalities.

Following a pre-recorded address by the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Dr. Tam participated as a panellist in an event on mental health. This session brought together senior officials, including the Ministers of Health from Argentina, Barbados and Chile. The speakers highlighted goals, policies and actions on mental health in their respective jurisdictions and how to apply lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to address mental health challenges in future crises, such as climate change and growing inequities.

Additionally, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer met with numerous health ministers and officials from other countries and partners of the Americas. Key discussions focused on shared global health priorities such as COVID-19, antimicrobial resistance, chronic disease prevention, mental health and monkeypox. Of note, Dr. Tam and Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussed lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the international response to HIV/AIDS. Dr. Tam also met with United States Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, M.D., to mark the release of a joint Canada-U.S. White Paper on “Substance Use and Harm during the COVID-19 Pandemic” and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Muthy.

Canada is committed to collaborating with international partners in the Americas to advance the health and safety of people in Canada and around the world. Participating in events like these are just one of the ways to achieve our shared goals for better health for all.

Quotes

“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with many of my international colleagues at the Pan American Sanitary Conference this week. By working with our partners across the Americas and sharing our pandemic experiences, we can all learn from each other and be in a stronger position to address ongoing challenges such as mental health, and emerging health challenges, including monkeypox and the impacts of climate change.”

Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer

Quick facts

  • Canada is a strong supporter of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for the Americas. Canada is the third-largest contributor of assessed contributions and among the leading providers of voluntary contributions to PAHO, which reflects a longstanding partnership to deliver on health for everyone throughout the Americas Region.

  • Canada has been a member of the WHO since its inception in 1948, and a member of PAHO since 1971.

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

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