Health systems in Latin America, already falling short in their capacity to serve the population, especially the poor, are in a weak position and face serious risks when it comes to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the decision to found a regional coalition to promote rights and greater participation in national and international forums and decisions, the First Latin American and Caribbean Assembly of Organisations of People Affected by Hansen's disease, popularly known - and stigmatised - as leprosy, came to an end.
"For the third consecutive year there is bad news" for Latin America and the Caribbean, where the numbers of hungry people have increased to "39.3 million people," or 6.1 percent of the population, Julio Berdegué, FAO's regional representative, said Wednesday.
In Latin America and the Caribbean 360 million people are overweight, and 140 million are obese, warned the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Panamerican Health Organisation (PAHO).
In 2013, an estimated 240,000 children were born with HIV. This was an improvement from 2009, when 400,000 babies tested positive for the infection, but still a far cry from the global target of reducing total child infections to 40,000 by 2015.
When floods overwhelmed the Eastern Caribbean in December last year, St. Vincent’s new smart hospital, completed just a few months earlier, stood the test of “remaining functional during and immediately after a natural disaster.”
Lack of financing for a 10-year eradication plan means that cholera will likely be endemic to Haiti for years to come.