ASHA and the Pan American Health Organization
One of the strategic objectives under ASHA's Strategic Pathway to Excellence is to enhance international engagement by collaborating with other organizations. In 2013, ASHA and the
Pan American Health Organization Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) launched a collaboration and selected three of the PAHO's priority countries in the Latin American region that self-identified as having a need to address communication disorders:
Honduras. The ASHA-PAHO on-site assessment teams identified the needs of each country and recommended offering educational and service delivery assistance in communication disorders. To meet the identified needs, ASHA established three ad hoc committees composed of ASHA members.
- In June 2018, PAHO approved ASHA's application to renew status as a Non-State Actor (NSA) in official relations with PAHO for another three years (2018–2020).
- In 2017, the ASHA-PAHO collaboration added a new country,
- In 2016, the ASHA-PAHO collaboration added a new country,
- In 2014, ASHA became a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in official relations with PAHO.
The 67th World Health Assembly (May 2014) adopted a resolution endorsing the
WHO Global Disability Action Plan 2014–2021: Better Health for All People with Disability. Shortly thereafter, the 53rd PAHO Directing Council (October 2014) adopted a resolution endorsing the Regional Disability and Rehabilitation Action Plan (Pan American Health Organization, 2014). Both action plans are mutually aligned and provide a road map enabling WHO member countries and international partners to work together to improve the health and human rights of the one billion people around the world with long-term and functional disabilities.
General Objective: To strengthen knowledge and build capacity of professionals and/or organizations that address communication disorders in the areas of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing.
- In 2018–2020, in addition to providing technical assistance to countries, ASHA–PAHO/WHO will improve awareness of gaps between needs and service availability of audiology and speech-language pathology services in the region.
Belize, ASHA provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Health, the Inspiration Center, and its partners to educate healthcare and community service providers about communication disorders.
El Salvador, ASHA provides technical assistance to the Instituto Salvadoreño de Rehabilitación Integral (ISRI) for training and capacity-building for personnel in audiology and speech-language pathology.
Guyana, ASHA provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Health to strengthen its national strategic plan for early detection and intervention of communication disorders.
Honduras, ASHA provides technical assistance for the establishment of a personnel development program in phonoaudiology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH).
Paraguay, ASHA provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and the National Secretariat of Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities (SENADIS) to educate professionals and parents of individuals with communication disorders.