Four health emergencies threaten the Americas, says Opas – Época Negócios

Pan American Health Organization warns of four health emergencies that threaten the Americas region (Photo: unsplash)

The director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa Etienne, warned of four health emergencies that threaten the region of the Americas: the recent outbreak of cholera registered in Haiti, the cases of smallpox of the monkeys, the infections by covid-19 and low polio vaccination rates.

“Our region is under pressure,” she said, urging countries to “work quickly with the tools at hand” in an attempt to control the scenario. “Parallel health emergencies and fragile social, political and natural environments illustrate the importance to invest in and strengthen health systems,” he added.

Cholera

After more than three years, Haiti last week reported an outbreak of cholera just as it was about to be declared free of the disease. Until last Sunday (9), the country had confirmed 32 cases and 18 deaths, in addition to 260 suspected cases in the capital region, Port-au-Prince.

According to PAHO, the cases are likely to outnumber the official figures, as “the escalation of street violence and criminal activity limit access and mobility in the affected areas.”

monkey pox

Data from the organization shows more than 45,000 cases of monkeypox reported in the Americas – 63% of the total recorded worldwide. About 95% of infections are in men. Just last week, 2,300 new cases were recorded in the region, mainly in the United States, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

PAHO has already begun distributing monkeypox vaccines in the Americas. Brazil and Chile were the first countries to receive the doses, delivered last week.

Covid-19

The PAHO director assessed that the downward trend in cases of covid-19 worldwide, including in the Americas, shows a possible transition from the acute phase of the pandemic to a phase of sustained control. Last week, the region recorded 178,000 new cases of the disease.

Carissa warned, however, that this transitional scenario will only be achieved through continued testing and increased vaccination. Although more than 70% of the population of the Americas is immunized against covid, ten countries and territories, according to PAHO, have not yet reached 40% vaccination coverage.

Polio

Carissa again appealed to countries to increase polio vaccination coverage and surveillance of the disease. According to her, four countries in the Americas – Brazil, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Peru – are classified as “at very high risk” of suffering an outbreak of the disease, while eight nations are considered “at high risk”.

“Polio, a disease for which there is no cure or treatment, must become a thing of the past”, stressed the PAHO director. “With effective vaccines and decades of experience in immunization, we have the power to keep it distance”, he concluded.

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