Call for activists to join PAHO-watch

8 Aug 2014

PHM circles in Latin America and North America are preparing for another round of watching this year’s Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Directing Council meeting. The meeting is coming up 29 September – 3 October in Washington, DC (agenda,papers).

We are now in the very early stages of putting together the PAHO Watch. We hope to get more (and new!) watchers from North and Latin America involved, begin to consult with country circles on priority issues, and develop a solid commentary on issues country circles identify as a priority to distribute at the PAHO meeting.  See PAHO Watch report from 2013here.

Joining the PAHO Watch team

If you would like to be a part of the PAHO-Watch, please send an email to Hani Serag <hserag [at]> to be added to the mailing list where all of the coordination is taking place. Once you’ve been added, please send a message to the list to introduce yourself.  There are many ways you can participate in the Watch beyond physically attending the meeting in Washington, DC.

Country circle consultation and developing commentary

Consultations will be carried out within country circles to identify what issues on the PAHO meeting agenda are of greater priority and correspond to country circle concerns and activity. This consultation will guide which items are focused on in commentary and at the PAHO meeting.

Through the watchers who represent them, this process allows country circles to engage with the issues addressed at the meeting in a manner that reflects the work country circles are doing on the ground. After the meeting, the watchers will report back on the discussions to the country circles. This is also an opportunity for country circles to present their points of view at the PAHO meeting, widen their networks and approaches to issues, as well has build internal capacity.

Some items on this year’s agenda (here) are:

Strategy for Universal Health Coverage

Plan of Action for the Prevention of Obesity in Children and Adolescents

Plan of Action on Health in All Policies

Plan of Action for Universal Access to Safe Blood

Plan of Action on Disabilities and Rehabilitation

Plan of Action on Mental Health

Plan of Action for the Prevention of Blindness and Visual Impairment

Plan of Action for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance

PAHO will post official documents regarding the agenda items on the webpage for the regional meeting as it approaches (here). The Executive Committee (EC) discussed many of these items at their meeting in June (EC154). The documents considered by the EC in relation to these items gives good idea of the direction discussion will take at the regional meeting. If you find any of the items on the agenda of special importance or can offer information on the topic now, please let us know!

Can you attend the PAHO Meeting?

Through Medicus Mundi International (the global host of WHO Watch), watchers are able to attend the meeting, disseminate our commentary  and deliver statements from the floor to the meeting body. More about WHO Watchhere.

We are looking for people to attend the meeting in Washington, D.C. There isn’t any funding to get watchers to the meeting, so if you live in the area or can attend otherwise, please contact us as soon as possible. (Note that you do not have to attend the meeting to be part of the PAHO Watch team.)

Contacting the PAHO Watch team

If you would like to join the team, have questions, or can help out in other ways, don’t hesitate to contact any of the following people who can get you connected. Feel free to write in any of the languages of our continent, Spanish, French, Portuguese or English!

Mariana Martins, Brazil (Portugese, English)

marianarmartins [at]

Susana Barria (Spanish, French, English)

sus.barria [at]

Leigh Haynes, USA (English, Espanol)

leigh.kamore [at]

Meike Schleiff, USA (English)

mjschleiff [at]

Abby Speller, Canada (English, Francais)

abbyspeller [at]

David Legge, Australia, coordinator (English)

dglegge01 [at]

This will be the third year of the PAHO Watch. Thanks to those of you who have offered support and expertise in the past. We look forward to working with you again as well as new contributors.


The PAHO Watch Team



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