Latin American Cooperation With World Health Organization

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Since its inception in 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed relationships with 193 member states as well as a number of private sector partnerships that provide monitoring and education of infectious diseases as well as assist with the treatment programs of those conditions.

It has enjoyed relative autonomy with its networks and affilate programs that allow it to consider itself a driving force behind prevention. In recent months, in respect to Latin America, this organization has worked to educate, prevent and treat Influenza A (H1N1) working through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Latin America and WHO, through PAHO, have been coordinating for the past 20 years to buy simple vaccines. This partnership has allowed for the eradication of polio as well as smallpox. It has developed partnerships with the private sector to provide medication. It is also a catalyst for education and fostering healthy decisions on the part of Latin America, more specifically the poorer regions of Latin America.

It is not simply medical dilemmas that PAHO have had to combat. With respect to HIV, there is a growing stigma that the World Health Organization feels it needs to combat in order to prevent the spread of HIV Homophobia. In Latin America and the Caribbean, The World Health Organization is working with Governments in an effort to relieve this stigma and move forward to treat HIV and reverse the number of those living with HIV by 2015.

It and its affiliates have come under scrutiny in Latin America as well as other regions of the world from the Catholic Church. One of its major campaigns in the prevention of AIDS is coordinating condom distribution in rural and poor areas. The Catholic Church has publically rejected the notion that distributing condoms is the most effective way to prevent the spread of AIDS as well as the curb the number of children born with the disease. With most countries in Latin America seeing more than 80% of its population attend Catholic mass, having the Church publicly contest WHOs practices can prove to be detrimental.

Aside from a few unavoidable impasses, Latin America and WHO have shared an amicable relationship that has seen many advances in the quality of life in the region. While North America has not seen a dramatic case of polio since 1979, Latin America had to wait until 1991. This is case with many infectious diseases in Latin America. But, with the help of this health organization and its partners, there have been great strides in improving the advancements of modern medicine in the region.

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