Thursday, September 24, 2020
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST

The purpose of this webinar was to provide recommendations and share experiences to strengthen the response capacity of the First Level of Care during the pandemic as a strategic element of the response of the health services network to COVID-19.

Presentations were made in Spanish with simultaneous translation into English.

Objective(s) of the meeting: 

1. To describe in general the impact of the pandemic on health services and care at the First Level of Care.
2.To share experiences and lessons learned in adapting and strengthening the First Level of Care to ensure the continuity of essential services during the pandemic.
3. To share the recommendations to adapt and strengthen the resolution capacity of the First Level of Care in the context of the Pandemic, based on the Universal Health Strategy.

Brief synthesis of the topics: 

The seminar, aimed at national health authorities, mayors and municipal health secretaries, directors of health services networks, directors of First Level Health services, health personnel from the First Level of Care shared the experiences of three countries (Jamaica , Costa Rica and Paraguay) about the actions taken and recommendations in strengthening their first level of care to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Moderation - Dr. Amalia Del Riego
  • Welcome and introduction. background and frameworks that underpin the need to strengthen the First Level of Car - Dr. James Fitzgerald
  • Describing the relevance of integrating and articulating essential programs and services at the First Level of Care - Lic. Hernan Luque
  • Closing - Dr. Anselm Hennis
Speakers. Brief summary of the curriculum: 


  • Dr. Amalia Del Riego, Unit Chief of Services and Access Unit (HS), PAHO
  • Dr. James Fitzgerald, Director of the Department of Health Systems and Services (HSS), PAHO
  • Lic. Hernan Luque, Advisor, Organization and Management of Health Services, (HSS/HS), PAHO
  • Dr. José Miguel Angulo, CCSS Director, Comprehensive Care for the People of Costa Rica
  • Dr. Casimiro Canhas, HSS Advisor, PAHO in Jamaica
  • Dra. Maida Barrios National Director of Primary Health Care (PHC) in Paraguay
  • Dr. Anselm Hennis, Director of the Department of Non-Communicable Disease and Mental Health (NMH), PAHO
Health Systems and Services, First Level of Care, COVID-19
Recording access: