216217 Capacities in Essential Health Functions Public (EPHF) as a vehicle for Social Justice in the Americas

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:48 PM - 3:06 PM

Nelson Atehortua, MD MA MPH , Advisor for Health Systems and Services, Pan American Health Organization - PAHO/WHO, Washington, DC
Jose Ruales, MD MPH , Advisor for Health Systems and Services, Pan American Health Organization - PAHO/WHO, Washington, DC
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) defined Essential Health Functions Public (EPHF) as a technical framework to assessing status of public health and supporting interventions towards improving public health infrastructure, implementing good governance, and achieving social justice. Health systems in Latin America are characterized by heterogeneous levels of institutional development, segmentation, fragmentation; and limited social and financial protection. The development of a validated self-assessment tool to identify capacities to adequately perform EPHF has been prioritized. Working experiences with health authorities at national and subnational levels allowed the authors to propose a methodological structure for the definition of vital capacities in terms human resources, information systems; technological, financial and organizational resources. These capacities are supported upon existing legislation, technical standards and existing protocols. The EPHF number eleven: “Reduction of the impact of emergencies and disasters on health”; served as the piloting one. A total of six products and services (PAS) and 38 activities (ACTS) vital to the adequate performance of this EPHF were identified. These PAS and ACTS are key for the core or vital technical team responsible for coordinating and implementing actions in regards to EPHF's. Priorities for future actions were identified after the process: 1) To promote the use of the self-assessment tool; 2) to promote the strengthening of health authorities across the EPHF's; 3) to promote the exchange of experiences with countries in the Americas at national and subnational levels; and, 4) to strengthening human resource's capabilities for FESP through the implementation of virtual and distance learning courses.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Program planning
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify and discuss the role and importance of Essential Public Health Functions (EPHF); State the importance of developing capacities for the performance of EPHF; Compare and provide feedback regarding the methodology; and Analyze and brainstorm strategies for future interventions

Keywords: Public Health Infrastructure, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an expert in the field, advising countries Ministries of Health and subnational authorities in the Americas (North, Central, South, and the Caribbean basin)
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.