The Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Council for Science (ICSU ROLAC) has organized two meetings on the Urban Health Agenda. Urban Health is one of the recently added priority areas of the Regional Office. In 2016, the Regional Office organized the first Urban Health Workshop on October 11-12th, 2016 which had the participation of experts in the field of Urban Health worldwide such as Franz Gatzweiler, Executive Director of ICSU’s Urban Health international programme, Dr. Jose Siri from the United Nations University and LAC-URBAN HEALTH. The workshop was attended by 340 participants including distinguished representatives of the Government as ministers, advisers, representatives of the educational system, authorities of the National University, associations involved in environmental and health issues. As a positive outcome, an Urban Health working group was formed in order to continue the development of the Urban Health agenda in El Salvador and the region.
The first meeting of the Urban Health working took place on March 20th, 2016. There were 15 people in attendance, including the Vice Minister of Science and Technology of El Salvador, Dr. Erlinda Hándal; Vice Minister of Health, Dr. Julio Robles Ticas, ICSU ROLAC Regional Director, Dr. Manuel Limonta, and various representatives from institutions like Ministry of Health and Wellbeing from El Salvador, Ministry of Public Security and Justice, Ministry of Housing and Land development, National University of El Salvador, COAMSS OPAMSS, Impacto Ambiental, and ICSU ROLAC Secretariat. The agenda included a brief introduction from each participant, followed by presentations from the different institutions about the work done on the Urban Health agenda. Then, it was possible to ask and discuss about the actions carried out in the different fields from each institution. Finally, it was agreed to assign a person from each institution to continue the follow up of the discussion of this first meeting, and also to have a second meeting in the days to come.
The second meeting of the Urban Health working group was held on March 31st, 2017. There were 19 people in attendance, all the participants of the previous meeting and new participants from INDES, Secretaría de la Cultura, and the Department of Transportation. In this second meeting, it was possible to continue the discussion from the previous meeting and also to hear presentations from new participant institutions. The outcomes of this meeting were the creation of a matrix of problems, efforts and solutions related to the Urban Health issue, and also the agreement to organize a regional Urban Health workshop in San Salvador in a date to be confirmed.