Through this year’s campaign, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) calls on countries to strengthen social intervention mechanisms during the Covid-19 pandemic to support communities and promote equity in health.
‘I want to strongly urge all governments and individuals to make more concerted and determined efforts to build equitable communities, and together dismantle the barriers that prevent all people from having the same opportunities for health and wellness,’ said Carissa Etienne, Director of PAHO.
In her opinion, those facing difficulties should not have to depend on the kindness and goodwill of their neighbors to survive, as ‘the health and well-being of all can only be achieved when governments provide a safety net’, she pointed out.
Etienne highlighted the importance of implementing meaningful social support measures to protect people such as migrants, those living in poverty, and informal sector workers, most of whom are women.
Also those with precarious working conditions, or those who reside in overcrowded houses and in other vulnerable conditions.
This initiative began in 2011 inspired by the Caribbean Wellness Day, which is celebrated on the second Saturday in September.
The campaign was initially focused on disease prevention, but since 2018 it has expanded to highlight how health promotion is essential for well-being at the community level.
This campaign is organized by PAHO in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency and the Alliance of Public Health Associations of Latin America.