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November 23, 1940


JAMA. 1940;115(21):1804. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810470048014

For nearly four decades the American republics have cooperated systematically in the prevention of the international spread of disease.1 During the last two decades this cooperation has been made both more effective and extensive. In order to give this hemispheric relationship a more efficient and stable basis, the Pan American Sanitary Bureau was created in 1902. It is the oldest of the great international health bodies and practically the only one functioning at present.

Authority for the work of the bureau, which has grown from a purely advisory role in quarantine matters to an active interest in many health problems, is contained in the Pan American Sanitary Code adopted in Habana in 1924 and ratified by all the American republics, the first inter-American treaty to enjoy this distinction. During the years of its existence, the bureau has received constantly increasing support and financial assistance from the different republics.