Montevideo, Aug 20 (EFE).- A representative of the World Health Organization issued a “call to action” here Monday to all legislatures across Latin America to address public health challenges.
“You could create a set of laws … that work in harmony with your constitutions to allow the establishment of specific guidelines with an integrated approach for the new health challenges we are facing,” Giovanni Escalante said at the start of the 4th Congress of Legislative Health Committees of the Americas in Montevideo.
Escalante identified non-communicable diseases as the biggest challenge, calling them “a threat to the development of the member states and the people.”
Because those diseases are tied to lifestyle, they require an “intersectoral” approach, he said.
“The image of a teenager now is someone sitting in front of a very big television playing (videogames), eating junk food and not exercising. That image has to disappear completely because we know that otherwise they won’t have an appropriate labor or social development, nor contribute 100 percent to democracy,” he said.
Escalante said that lawmakers should ask themselves how they can enlist and society as a whole in the effort to improve health.