On September 19, 2014, Global Health International Advisors (GHIA) and the Bolivian Public Health Society (SBSP) subscribed a Memorandum of Understanding. This important act was realized in a ceremony during the closure of the National Congress of Public Health, which took place in La Paz, Bolivia from September 16 to 19. The Congress gathered a wide range of professionals from health and other disciplines to discuss national health issues.
The MOU was signed by Dr. Jose Luis Zeballos Z -- representing Dr. Juan Manuel Sotelo, GHIA President and the Executive Committee -- and by Dr. Carlos Alfredo Calvo A, President of the Bolivian Public Health Society. The MOU aims at (a) strengthening the leadership role of public health professionals as core promoters of the concept of health as a mainstay of social and economical development and (b) serve as a technical forum to promote and support the discussion of health issues in the agenda of political decision makers. Goals for cooperation were agreed for the following areas:
-- Development of activities to promote the health as a mainstay for social development
-- Join activities aimed at the improvement of health conditions of the population below the poverty level including access to healthcare services.
-- Exchange experiences and develop activities in the following fields: Health and human development, Health economics, Health technology, Emerging diseases, Disasters and other health risks, Public health development.
-- Organization of conferences and seminars of national and international interest
-- Resource mobilization and technical cooperation between countries.
The MOU is a challenge to strength the leadership of the public health professionals, not only in the advocacy of health as a pillar of the social and economical development, also to serve as a technical forum to influence relevant health issues in the political agenda of the decision makers.
During the Congress Dr. Zeballos, as a member of GHIA, delivered a conference titled “Hospital Disaster Preparedness and the PAHO’s Safe Hospitals Initiative”. The conference highlighted the importance to ensure appropriate functionality of health establishments during disasters and emergency situations and the concomitant protection of patients, staff, and the investments in health infrastructure and equipment.