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    Caribbean Public Health Authority on Track for Launch in 2010

    By Keith R | September 30, 2009

    Topics: Health Issues | No Comments »

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    From the Caribbean Community (CARICOM):

    REGION GEARS UP FOR HEALTH AUTHORITY IN 2010

    Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers of Health meeting in Washington DC, USA at their 18th Caucus fully endorsed the time table for the establishment of the Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA) in 2010.

    Among the actions leading up to the start up of CARPHA are the completion of the costing of the functions, infrastructure and staffing, the establishing of a marketing strategy spearheaded by United Kingdom Public Health specialists in collaboration with specialists from the Region, and planning for a Donors meeting coordinated by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

    Funding for the preliminary work has so far been provided by the Canadian Health Agency in Ottawa and PAHO, and the CARICOM Secretariat in tandem with the Caribbean Programme Coordination Office of PAHO in Barbados has been responsible for the administrative and logistic arrangements.

    Speaking at the Ministerial Caucus, Hon. John Fabien, Minister of Health and Environment, Commonwealth of Dominica, and Chair of the Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD), said, “this is one of the most ambitious yet necessary initiatives that would help the Region to best respond to its health needs by pooling its resources into a first rate public health facility that would strengthen the regional capabilities to respond to emergencies and to engage in preventive action.”

    It was agreed that CARPHA will merge the public health functions previously carried out separately by the Caribbean Epidemiological Centre (CAREC), the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), the Caribbean Health Research Centre (CHRC), the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory (CRDTL) and the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI).

    By agreement of COHSOD and the approval of CARICOM Heads of Government in July 2009, the main campus of CARPHA will be located in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Chairman of the CARPHA Steering Committee, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, speaking after the Caucus meetings in Washington, D.C., commended Dr. Jerome Walcott, Project Manager, for what he described as “the spirit of cooperation among CARICOM Health Ministers and technical officers and the donors, which” he stated, “augurs well for setting the stage toward the accomplishment of the objectives to implement CARPHA by 2010.”

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