Unit Chief, Health Promotion and Social Determinants

Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization

Dr. Gerry Eijkemans assumed her role as Unit Chief of Health Promotion and Social Determinants in May 2018 at the Headquarters of PAHO/WHO.

Previously she served as Head of PAHO/ WHO Country Offices in Mexico, in The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as in Suriname. She has worked in International Organizations for over 25 years in different parts of the world, at country level (Peru, Panama), regional level (the Americas, Africa) and global level, where she led the WHO Occupational Health Program globally. She also worked 2 years as a Senior Advisor on child labor and health in the International Program for the Eradication of Child Labor (IPEC) of the International Labor Organization. During her career, she has provided technical cooperation in countries such as China, India, Mexico, Egypt, Brazil and South Africa, on issues related to environmental health, health promotion, child labor, workers’ health, social determinants of health and the link with health systems strengthening. Her work includes contributions to the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, and she has fostered, created and motivated several regional and global networks to improve the health of people around the world.

In her role as Unit Chief of Health Promotion and Social Determinants, a unit which also includes workers’ health and urban health, Gerry is leading the Regional renewal of Health Promotion, in collaboration with national, subnational and local governments, to strengthen public health in the Region of the Americas and strengthening the Organizations focus on addressing social determinants of health. She has played a key role in developing guidance documents related to populations in situations of vulnerability as related to COVID-19.

Dr. Eijkemans is of Dutch nationality and has a degree in medicine from the University of Nijmegen in Holland, as well as a Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.