Panama City, January 31, 2024.- The U.S. Embassy in Panama announces that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) selected Panama as the location for its new regional office for Central America and the Caribbean. This is CDC’s sixth regional office worldwide, and the Agency plans to host an official launch in Panama later this year.
Regional offices, such as the one established in Panama, make it possible to address, alongside governments in the region, complex global health challenges that simultaneously impact many countries. To that end, the new office will collaborate with 18 countries in Central America and the Caribbean to strengthen efforts in the development and implementation of public health strategies and policies that help to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging threats.
This office will also work locally, alongside Panamanian health authorities, to strengthen health systems in the country. The office will bring to bear CDC’s decades of expertise in public health, global health security, and health emergency preparedness and response in its partnerships with Panama and the region. The new regional office will also collaborate with existing CDC offices in Central America and the Caribbean and the broader US government to advance global health priorities in the region.
The director of the new regional office is Dr. Yoran Grant-Greene, an epidemiologist with extensive experience in global health. “Experience has shown us the combined effectiveness of bilateral and regional offices, which allow us to strengthen international cooperation for outbreak detection and response,” says Dr. Grant-Greene. “Establishing this regional office for Central America and the Caribbean in Panama is advantageous due to Panama’s strategic geographic location as a regional travel hub and the existing presence of several essential health organizations with which CDC already partners. This office reinforces our ability to collaborate and contribute to strengthening health security throughout the region.”
The longstanding CDC Central America office, based in Guatemala, remains a critical part of CDC’s overseas presence and will work in partnership with the new office in Panama to strengthen health systems and workforce capacities throughout the region.
In today’s interconnected world, a disease threat anywhere can become a health threat in the U.S. Recognizing that disease knows no borders, CDC is setting up additional regional offices worldwide to promote U.S. global health security objectives and establish a lasting global presence. In the past few years, CDC established regional offices in the East Asia/Pacific region (Japan), South America (Brazil), Eastern Europe/Central Asia (Georgia), the Middle East/North Africa (Oman), and Southeast Asia (Vietnam).