The Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA) consists of the Ministers of Health of the Countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic as full members, and its Executive Secretary. The function of this Council is to provide leadership for the Regional Health Sector, identifying and prioritizing regional health issues that need to be addressed by the Central American Health Agenda and Health Plan. In Health, the main problems facing the region are: lack of coordination between levels of care;the insufficient response capacity to meet the needs of the population, especially in the primary care level;the lack of compilation, review and analysis of information;lack of quality information;lack of quality in the national reference laboratories;lack of regulation and standardization of technical and biosafety procedures for good management;and lack of integration of epidemiological surveillance, laboratory and hospital systems. All this constitutes a challenge, so COMISCA seeks that the information obtained regionally should be analyzed comprehensively so as to be able to characterize the situation as accurately as possible, and effectively serve to guide public health policies and measures. Efforts are being carried out at to gradually overcome these challenges, and the Central American Agenda on Health and the Health Plan 2010-2015 are already available, which seek to target the support available to address the different critical areas and tackle the major regional challenges in the areas of communicable disease and chronic non-communicable disease control, information systems and human resource development, among others. In this regional effort, COMISCA has identified through its Executive Secretariat the need for technical and financial support to solve the existing problems at the regional level in relation to: the lack of comprehensive approach to disease control, lack of coordination and networking, lack of training a and compliance with health regulations listed in the International Health Regulations, inadequate capacity to respond to emergencies and disease outbreaks, inadeqiaate laboratory response, etc. Therefore, COMISCA considered it important put this project forward to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Coordinating Office of Global Health (COGH)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGH1-SRC (99))
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Secretaria General (Sg-Sica)Comisca
Antiguo Cuscatlan
El Salvador
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