Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Dr Carissa Etienne, says the entity will continue to work closely with stakeholders in member countries and at the regional level to assist them in managing COVID-19)outbreaks, forecasting hospital bed requirements, and reducing transmission, particularly at the community level.
“Very importantly, we are also actively reviewing the evidence and updating clinical management guidelines to make sure that the countries have… the best scientific information available to treat patients,”
Dr Etienne added.
She was speaking during PAHO’s COVID-19 digital briefing on Wednesday
Dr Etienne noted that PAHO has an important role to play in tracking new infections and monitoring hospital bed occupancy.
“When we see that transmission rates present a risk for [regional] health systems’ capacity… we flag this, both in direct communications and conversations with the Ministries of Health [and through] public communications,”
The Director pointed out that consequent on PAHO having a presence in almost every country in the Americas,
“we have our finger on the pulse of the pandemic, helping to track progress, identifying the emerging issues, and working with the Ministries of Health [and other public health authorities] to resolve them.”
“We have every hope that with the acquisition of vaccines and continuing and sustaining vaccination programmes, that we should be able, successfully, to slow down, initially, and then to stop the pandemic,”
Dr Etienne added.
PAHO is expected to receive approximately 195 million vaccine doses of the two billion already secured by the World Health Organization (WHO), through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility.
The first 20 million doses are slated for delivery in March, and the remainder by June.
The Facility is designed to accelerate equitable access by countries globally to appropriate, safe and efficacious vaccines.