Dr. Carissa Etienne, a native of Dominica, will be the new Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). She was elected by PAHO Member States during the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference.
Dr. Etienne will begin her five-year term on 1 February 2013, succeeding Dr. Mirta Roses Periago of Argentina, who has been PAHO Director since 2003.
Dr. Etienne is currently Assistant Director General, Health Systems and Services, of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. From 2003 to 2008 she served as Assistant Director of PAHO, WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas.
Dr. Etienne holds degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of the West Indies as well as a master’s in community health and an honorary diploma in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
During her acceptance speech, Dr. Etienne said her vision for health in the Americas is one of societies free of inequality, where people have access to healthy social determinants and environments that allow them to have lives that are long, dignified, healthy, and productive. This includes access to universal health services without fear of being impoverished.
On January 22nd, 2013, Dr. Carissa Etienne was named Regional Director for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO) by the WHO Executive Board, which is holding its 132nd session in Geneva.
Dr. Etienne was elected Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) by the countries of the Americas on 19 September 2012 during the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference. PAHO serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO (WHO/AMRO). Dr. Etienne will begin her five-year term as PAHO Director and WHO Regional Director on 1 February, succeeding Dr. Mirta Roses Periago of Argentina.
Dr. Carissa F. Etienne took office 31 January 2013 as the new Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), pledging to work in close partnership with PAHO member countries to extend the benefits of health progress to all people in the Americas. Dr. Etienne’s highest priority will be accelerating progress toward universal access to quality health care.
It gives me great pleasure as Director of the Pan American Health Organization, to congratulate the Haitian government for an impressive achievement—the presentation of a national plan of action for eliminating the transmission of cholera. I know that great commitment and effort have gone into the development of this plan, which is ambitious yet achievable. When fully implemented, it will bring improvements in water and sanitation infrastructure and health system capacity that will help ensure that neither cholera nor any other waterborne disease will ever again produce a major public health crisis in Haiti.
Hypertension is the theme for World Health Day 2013, which is celebrated every April 7th to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948. Each year we choose a theme for the day that highlights a priority area of concern for global public health.
Hypertension is the leading risk factor for death worldwide. Although 30% of the adult population suffers from blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg, a third of those who suffer it do not know they have this disease. One in three people being treated for hypertension fail to keep their blood pressure below 140/90.