During the 1870s, a yellow fever epidemic struck Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, and within eight years had spread to the United States. More than 20,000 people died as a result of the outbreak. Due to the increase in global mobility, the need to control the spread of epidemics from one country to another in order to protect people's health and countries' economies led to the creation in 1902 of what is today known as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The stage was set for the first elimination efforts that allowed completion of the Panama Canal.

Throughout its 120 years in existence, PAHO has a long and successful history of eliminating diseases that negatively impact the lives of vulnerable populations and devastate communities in the Americas. These landmark achievements have been made possible by working closely with trusted partners, governments, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and communities throughout the region.

Based on the successful background of elimination achievements reached by countries in America's region and understanding the need for innovation and strong leadership to move forward, in 2019, PAHO and member states approved the CD57/R7: PAHO disease elimination initiative. This marked the creation of a policy for an integrated sustainable approach to communicable diseases in the Americas. Following up to this important landmark, in 2019, PAHO created the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Disease Elimination (STAG DE), with the main purpose of having an external body of experts assessing PAHO to determine the best way to launch and monitor this public health effort.

After the difficult times imposed by the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, PAHO is eager to re- energize the elimination initiative and will start by convening a second STAG DE meeting, to brief its members and ask for new recommendations. 

PAHO, the Task Force for Global Health (TFGH), and the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Disease (COR-NTD) share this commitment to eliminate diseases and save lives. As such the STAG DE meeting will be held in Atlanta, GA at the Task Force for Global Health headquarters on November 29th and 30th of 2022. The aim of this meeting will be to explore ideas on how to accelerate the elimination initiative’s implementation through a partnership approach.