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Doctor Jarbas Barbosa is the new director general of PAHO, the WHO arm in the Americas


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The Brazilian doctor Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Júnior was appointed this Wednesday (28) as the new director general of PAHO (Pan American Health Organization).

Barbosa, who was the organization’s assistant director, ran against five other candidates nominated by Panama, Haiti, Mexico, Colombia and Uruguay. He will succeed Dr Carissa Etienne of Dominica, who has chaired PAHO since 2012.

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The election took place by secret ballot during the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference. It took four rounds for the Brazilian to obtain the majority of votes from the representatives of PAHO member states.

The new director will serve a term of five years and may be re-elected once. The inauguration will take place on February 1, 2023.

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PAHO is the specialized health agency of the inter-American system and serves as the regional office for the Americas of the WHO (World Health Organization).

Barbosa has been leading the organization’s efforts to increase equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and regional capacities to manufacture medicines and other health technologies.

It is also responsible for overseeing technical cooperation programs provided by the organization to each of its 35 member states in various areas such as health promotion, communicable diseases and environmental determinants of health, noncommunicable diseases and mental health, health systems and services. health.

Before PAHO, Barbosa was the CEO of Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) from July 2015 to July 2018. Before that, he worked at the Ministry of Health as Secretary of Health Surveillance and, later, as Secretary of Science, Technology and Strategic Supplies.

Graduated in medicine from the Federal University of Pernambuco and specialized in public health and epidemiology at the National School of Public Health of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Barbosa has a master’s degree in medical sciences and a doctorate in public health from Unicamp (State University of Campinas).

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