Dr. Etienne in search of one vote to secure PAHO top position

Dr. Carisa Etiene. Photo by GIS

Assistant Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dominican Dr. Carissa Etienne, is in  search of one additional country to secure her vote as the new Director of the Pan American Health  Organisation (PAHO).

Dr. Etienne is one of five candidates vying for the position and is looking to secure twenty votes by September 2012.

During an exclusive interview with the Government Information Service (GIS) on Tuesday, Dr. Etienne confirmed that Dominica has already received the commitment of nineteen countries.

“There are 38 voting member states and the CARICOM vote is very important. We have fourteen CARICOM countries and five Latin American countries and we need twenty (20) votes to win,” she said.

Dr. Etienne confirms that the campaign has been a rigorous but pleasant one thus far.

“I think we have been helped by some friendly countries and we have had to visit the Embassies in Washington accompanied by our Ambassador H.E Hubert Charles. Our Minister of Health Julius Timothy has also been quite active in working with other ministers of health in this effort.” relates Dr. Etienne.

The Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) through its membership body has indicated that they will support Dominica’s candidacy for the position of Director-General of PAHO.

Dr. Etienne is grateful for the tremendous level of support shown by Dominica especially that of the Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who has made representation on her behalf at both the CARICOM and International levels.

“Our Prime Minister has really been a champion. He has made representation at the very highest levels, not only with CARICOM but with other countries,” she pointed out.

Dr. Etienne has served since 2008 as the Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Services at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.  She is a globally recognized public health champion and advocate, improving access to health care for poor and marginalized populations.

The health professional is confident that she has the capacity and experience to head the Pan American Health Organisation in this major leadership role.

She itemized some of her major priorities if she is to assume this new role.

“When I am successful I shall focus on ensuring that the organization continues in excellence. I think I have the required experience and competence to do this. I have worked at the local level, at the regional level and at the International Level. I have had the necessary exposure that would allow me to lead an organization like the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) well into the 21st Century. So certainly I look forward to heading that Organization,” she concluded.

The election is due the week of September 17, 2012.

If confirmed, Dr. Etienne will be the first Dominican to hold this position.

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  1. PLWHA
    August 1, 2012

    From a civil society stand point we are behind you fully and i know that we in the caribbean will benefit from your position out there as i always say to you god is there for you and nothing will stop it you are a praying person.

    PS As a past head of a civil society group i want to warm to up front with people like Eddie Greene
    Assistant director of caricom he is wolf in sheep clothing

  2. Free Thinker
    August 1, 2012

    I am encouraged by the fact that Dr Clarissa Etienne is a progressive thinker and is keen on getting to the root of major health issues, to see them for what they are, and work to put strategy in place that will move third world nations toward irradiation and cure.
    Why would she bother to share the details of her plan, especially here on DNO? I remember, not too long ago, her frank and accurate comments on the proliferation of AIDS and the associated stigma seemed to have raised the ignorant, small island thinking and ire of many people in Dominica. All this because she said that AIDs and homosexuality should be de-stigmatized and decriminalized; so as to ensure access to adequate testing, treatment, and by extension, the eventual irradiation of the disease in our midst.
    As I remember it people were all up in arms, calling up the morning talk shows, as if to say that they were expecting her to go out onto the world stage, at an executive level, of a global health organization like the WTO, and display backward, small island, religious based, thinking on matters of global health pandemics.
    AIDS does not respect religion or social strata therefore; our approach to it cannot be colored by pseudo- religious or traditional beliefs. There are some things that we just need to think scientifically about and have the frank discussions about sex and sexuality which will allow our society to triumph over such ills.

  3. Anonymous
    August 1, 2012

    who cares if she gets the job … what does it do for the taxpayers of Dominica?

  4. G
    August 1, 2012

    Very good candidate for the job. From her past contribution to the country, the region and the internation circuit she is well on her way. Vote should be granted where deserved. Bless

  5. Alberto
    August 1, 2012

    God’s blessings Doc. I am proud to have worked with you.

  6. anonymous2
    July 31, 2012

    And what is the objective of getting into this?
    Are you aware that all the UN does is “use” people for their own agenda? WHO is an arm of the UN. I think that you need to look before you leap.

  7. Good luck
    July 31, 2012

    Dr. I know you will work hard for the good of mankind, so if my vote could count it will be yours. That’s from someone who reside in Fortunee.

  8. July 31, 2012

    Wishing you all the best Dr. Etienne, where there is a will there’s a way

    If it is God’s will it will be done

    Good luck, God Bless

  9. OLF Parishioner
    July 31, 2012

    Doc go for it. We (OLF Parish)are praying for you. We wish you God’s speed.

  10. Anonymous
    July 31, 2012

    What is in it for Dominica apart from bragging?

    • REBEL
      July 31, 2012

      its comments like this that forces me to cuss bad words. but for the sake of the readers i will contain myself. my commonsensically challenged friend please take a moment and rethink your comment. given the significants of PAHO it deserves nothing but the best at the helm. Doctor Etienne is more than qualified for that position and what if as a result We as Dominicans get some bragging rights what is wrong with that?. whats wrong with a little pride?. what is wrong with Dominicans being able to say that the head of PAHO is a Dominican. i feel sorry for you who ever you are.

    • nightanddayvision
      August 1, 2012


  11. Justice and Truth
    July 31, 2012

    Carissa, Dr. Etienne, I have known you from youth. I know your parents and all of you, their children. You know me too, my parents and family. From Canada, I wished that I were in a position to immediately give you that one remaining vote. I wish you luck. Hope you will be successful. You have studied and worked hard. You deserve it. You will make a good PAHO. Dominica will benefit from your position. May God bless you and to obtain it.

  12. July 31, 2012

    God’s blessings be upon you my sister, am sure you will do a great job.

  13. uhmmmm
    July 31, 2012

    so DNO what are her priorities in regards to health… all i’ve seen is her willingness to ” focus on ensuring that the organization continues in excellence.” that is too vague… i/we need more information than that.

    what does she see as priority areas in health? especially as it relates to SIDS like Dominica and what impact will these new global trends in health have on the health sectors of the Caribbean states and how will PAHO assist SIDS in meeting these challenges…

    DNO needs to update this interview… please and thank you

    • Justice and Truth
      July 31, 2012

      @ uhm…

      Are you in a position to vote for her? In time, if she obtains that one vote, it will be revealed to you. Have patience. Hope and pray that she will obtain it.
      Carissa is from an educated family. She is brilliant and quite capable of performing the job and more and also assisting DA. Set aside your negativity and enquiries.

    • (.) (.)
      July 31, 2012

      Pray for her to get the (1) one more vote and stop asking too many questions. You not her lawyer. Some of all you too fast and forward. Jealous you jealous nah? She is an excellent Dr. and she deserves the best

      • Justice and Truth
        August 1, 2012

        I applaud you. You said it well. :lol: God bless!

    • Not a herd follower
      August 1, 2012

      YES. What are priorities? The article is incomplete.

      I wish Dr. Carissa Etienne well.

    • too hard too long
      August 1, 2012

      She should be vague. To itemize is to promise. Why would she do that?

    • A reader
      August 1, 2012

      Same thing I was just saying to myself. I expected her to say that she’s going to see about funding for more free medication for AIDS patients in the marginalised countries, with a special focus on the Caribbean and Africa, seeing as they keep saying the Caribbean and Africa have the highest rates.

      • (.) (.)
        August 1, 2012

        Bondiere oiye….give the woman a chance nah. If you all were in her position, you all would not even consider the poor countries …much less.

  14. Grange girl
    July 31, 2012

    Proud to be Dominican!

    • Justice and Truth
      July 31, 2012

      @ Grange Girl

      …And with people as Carissa, Dr. Etienne.

  15. Malick
    July 31, 2012

    Doc, you have my vote. I wish you continued success and thanks for blazing the trails on behalf of our island.

  16. Anonymous
    July 31, 2012

    Good luck Dr. Ettienne.

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