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Ministerials Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit

- Antigua and Barbuda - Argentina - Bahamas - Barbados - Belize - Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - El Salvador - Grenada - Guatemala - Guyana - Haiti - Honduras - Jamaica - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Suriname - Trinidad and Tobago - United States - Uruguay - Venezuela -
Date:  7/7/2016 
The foremost current international health challenge for the Americas is the Zika virus outbreak and the associated cases of microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and other potential consequences of the virus. The U.S. government, through the Department of State, USAID, HHS (including Center for Disease Control [CDC], National Institute of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority), the Department of Defense, and other relevant agencies, is working closely with Zika-affected countries, especially in the Americas, to respond to the outbreak. Among the lines of effort under way are research collaboration, training and capacity building, support for public health systems (surveillance, laboratory diagnosis, and vector control), technical assistance with diagnostic tests and supplies, emergency response and risk communications, and regulatory coordination to expedite approval of and commercial availability of medical countermeasures.

Having redirected some Ebola funding ($133 million for USAID and $78 million to be implemented by CDC) to the Zika response, USAID and CDC will be expanding Zika virus response efforts. The Administration continues seek additional funding from Congress to meet the needs of both domestic and international response.

Our bilateral assistance is carried out in close coordination with international organizations, including the World Health Organization, its regional body the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UNICEF, and others. Regional initiatives such as the North American
Partnership on Animal and Pandemic Influenza (NAPAPI) are exploring using their established channels with Canada and Mexico to enhance cooperation on Zika.
For the medium term, we are working as quickly as possible to accelerate vaccine development, and to ensure that there is enough Zika diagnostic testing capacity available across the hemisphere, especially tests that can produce faster results, so that individuals – particularly women who are or may become pregnant and their partners – can ascertain whether they have been infected with Zika.

Working with PAHO and other partners, USAID supports the strengthening of health information systems, including appropriate coding of causes of death and death certificate completion, to improve timely access to quality health information, both of which are essential in identifying and responding to public health emergencies.

Like the recent Ebola epidemic in Africa, the Zika infections in the Americas and their consequences strengthen the case for the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and for better implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) – both high priorities for the U.S. government.
Paragraphs: - Paragraphs VII Summit: 3

Date:  7/7/2016 
Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA)

In 2014, the United States helped to launch the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) – a partnership of more than 50 nations, international organizations, and non-governmental stakeholders. GHSA aims to help build and strengthen countries’ capacities to create a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats, and to elevate health security as a national and global priority. The World Health Organization has welcomed GHSA as a way for Member States to assist each other in building and strengthening capacities under the International Health Regulations (IHR), the keystone of public health preparedness and the only binding global framework for developing public health capacities.
GHSA pursues a multilateral and multisectoral approach to strengthen both national and global capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to human and zoonotic infectious disease threats. This multisectoral approach emphasizes engagement of not only the health sector, but other key partners including the agriculture, foreign affairs, development assistance, and security sectors.

Technical experts from countries around the world collaboratively identified eleven discrete areas of technical focus (“action packages”), and all GHSA member countries committed to carry out work on one or more – building capacity at a national, regional, and/or global level.
Each Action Package includes a five-year target, indicators by which to measure progress, and lists of baseline assessment, planning, monitoring, and evaluation activities.

Governments in the Americas have committed to important work under the GHSA, including leading GHSA Action Packages on topics such as Antimicrobial Resistance; Biosafety and Biosecurity; Medical Countermeasures; Multisectoral Response; and Nationwide Laboratory Systems. In 2015-2016, three countries (Argentina, Peru, and the United States) are also undergoing or committing to complete a Joint External Evaluation (JEE), an external and objective assessment of IHR capacities that includes all GHSA targets.

As part of a broader G-7 commitment to support 76 countries toward full International Health
Regulations (IHR) compliance, the United States is committed to working with Haiti, Peru, and CARICOM to develop five-year roadmaps to meet the targets set in the JEE, which includes the GHSA targets. Canada has also made commitments, and the United States and Canada are collaborating closely to align support and mitigate duplication of effort where priorities overlap.

The United States also strongly supports reforms under way at World Health Organization and Pan-American Health Organization to streamline, better coordinate, and strengthen emergency response to infectious disease threats. The United States also continues to work with its North American partners under the aegis of the North American Partnership on Animal and Pandemic Influenza to advance preparedness and response.

Paragraphs: - Paragraphs VII Summit: 4

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