Dr Carissa Etienne, the former Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has passed away. She was 71 years old.
Reports indicate she died in the US this morning.
The Government of Dominica in its condolences says it mourns an illustrious, well-loved daughter of its soil.
In its tribute, the Government of Dominica states Dr Etienne was a globally recognised public health champion and advocate who brought great pride and honour to Dominica.
She was elected as Director of the Pan American Health Organization in September 2012 and was re-elected for a second five-year term in September 2017.
She ended her ten-year tenure as Director of PAHO on January 31, 2023. She was Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization from 2008 to 2013; Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organization from 2003 to 2008; and Director of Primary Health Care Services, Ministry of Health, Dominica 1989 to 2001.
The Government of Dominica say under her guidance as Director of Primary Healthcare, Dominica achieved universal coverage for all primary care programs, with immunisation coverage rates of 95 per cent; 90 per cent coverage for prenatal care and deliveries by trained birth attendants; access to continuous care for chronic non-communicable disease; country-wide community empowerment and participation; and health education integrated into community care.
She had previously served as Chief Medical Officer, Coordinator of the National HIV/AIDS Programme, National Epidemiologist, and Medical Director at the then Princess Margaret Hospital.
The Government of Dominica calls on all to remember and celebrate her outstanding contributions and dedication to the management of Dominica’s public health sector, and her leadership and strategic guidance of health systems in the Americas.