For Haiti's health sector, 2010 was a year of unprecedented challenges. The January 12 earthquake claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Haitians, including some 300 health workers, and injured many thousands more, while causing serious damage and disruption to health infrastructure, services and supply lines. The cholera epidemic added new difficulties just as the health sector was beginning to recover and rebuild. In spite of all this, ministry officials, health professionals, and volunteers worked to overcome obstacles and made important progress toward recovery. PAHO/WHO has a long-term commitment to Haiti and will continue to help coordinate recovery efforts, provide technical cooperation, and strengthen national leadership, with a focus on promoting equity in health, combating disease, and improving the quality of life for the Haitian people.
Since 2003, the Annual Report of the Director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization has focused on a specific area of PAHO/WHO's technical cooperation, providing an in-depth analysis of a key aspect of the Organization's wide-ranging work as well as a conceptual lens through which to report its many projects, activities, and achievements.
The focus of this year's report—the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—was chosen for two reasons. As a global mandate that reflects and reinforces the Organization's core values and orientation, the MDG framework has given increased impetus and direction to PAHO/WHO's technical cooperation throughout the past decade. In addition, the period covered by this year's report—2010-2011—coincides with the two-thirds mark between the Millennium Declaration and the 2015 end date proposed for achieving the MDGs. With just five years remaining, it is a fitting moment to review progress toward achieving the MDGs in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as PAHO/WHO's support for its member countries' efforts and lessons that can be used to accelerate progress over the next few years.
Durante la última década, la Semana de vacunación en las Américas se ha convertido en la iniciativa de salud multinacional de mayor impacto en el hemisferio occidental. Lo que comenzó como un esfuerzo común para combatir un brote de sarampión, se convirtió en un compromiso anual de todos los países de la región que hasta hoy ha llevado el beneficio de las vacunas a casi 400 millones de personas que habitan tanto en las grandes ciudades como en asentamientos remotos y aislados, zonas fronterizas y comunidades indígenas.
Diez años mas tarde, la Semana de vacunación en las Americas ha trascendido sus fronteras y ha sido adoptada por todas las regiones del mundo, culminando en Abril del 2012 con la Primera Semana Mundial de la Inmunización.
Over the last decade, Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) has become the largest multinational health initiative in the Western Hemisphere. Originating as a common effort to fight the threat from a 2002 measles outbreak along the border between Colombia and Venezuela, Vaccination Week has since evolved into an annual commitment by the 45 countries and territories in the Americas to promote equity in health. Each April, the initiative draws attention to vaccination, highlighting the work of national immunization programs and bringing life-saving vaccines to millions of people. An important measure of its success is that Vaccination Week efforts were progressively adopted by other regions of the World Health Organization, with support from the Americas, culminating in the first-ever World Immunization Week in 2012. This is a true testament to the power of the ideas behind Vaccination Week.