PAHO Director Dr. Etiene
PAHO Director Dr. Etiene

Dominican Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization and the Regional Director of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is to make her first official visit to Dominica today, Saturday 4th July, the Ministry of Health said in a press release.

She was appointed Director of PAHO on 19 September 2012.

Dr Etienne will be accompanied by Dr Godfrey Xuereb, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the ECC.

During her visit the PAHO Director will pay courtesy calls on His Excellency Charles Savarin, President of Dominica, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, Minister for Health and Environment and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and CARICOM Affairs.

She will also visit the La Plaine Health District on Monday 6, 2015 and a centenarian.

On Tuesday 7th July, 2015, Dr Etienne will hold discussions with core managers in the Ministry of Health &Environment on national health issues and PAHO's technical support for Dominica, the release stated.

Dr. Etienne will also hold discussions with Cabinet and host a press conference.

Her visit will culminate with a small reception under the patronage of the Minister for Health at the State House Conference Centre.

Dr. Etienne holds degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of the West Indies as well as a Master's in community health and an honorary diploma in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

She held several senior positions in Dominica, including serving twice as Chief Medical Officer and Director of Primary Health Care Services. She was also an Associate Professor at the Ross University School of Medicine.

In Geneva, Dr Etienne led efforts to renew primary health care (PHC) at the global level and to strengthen health systems based on PHC, promoting integration and improved functioning of health systems.

She has also promoted policy directions to reduce health inequalities and advance health for all through universal coverage, people-centered care, the access to safe and effective medical products and technology, the integration of health into broader public policies, and inclusive and participatory health leadership.

The Regional Office for the Americas comprises 38 member states stretching from the Arctic to the Tierra del Fuego and including all the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries.