CARPHA achieves international accreditation for testing quality of medicines

CARPHA's Drug Testing Laboratory (DTL)  recently received international accreditation for laboratory testing services

Kingston, Jamaica - Access to healthcare and essential quality medicines and pharmaceutical products is critical for the Caribbean population’s well-being and optimal health.

Recently, the Drug Testing Laboratory (DTL) of Caribbean Public Health Agency received international accreditation for laboratory testing services. Conformity with the ISO17025:2005 standard marks a significant endorsement for the Agency’s capabilities to test the quality of pharmaceutical finished products such as capsules, tablets, creams, ointments, suspensions, syrups, and lotions.

The accreditation certificate was granted to CARPHA-DTL by the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) at a ceremony which took place at CARPHA-DTL offices.

As Jamaica’s national accreditation body, JANAAC supports the effective development of the Jamaican economy by providing Conformity Assessment Bodies such as testing laboratories with internationally recognized accreditation services thereby fostering global confidence and facilitating trade between Jamaica and its regional and international partners.

CARPHA’s specialised laboratories provide support for the surveillance, prevention, promotion and control of important public health problems in the Region.


Saint Lucia Ministry of Health to regulate sale of soft drinks

soft drinkThe Ministry of Health and Wellness (of Saint Lucia) is embarking on a campaign to discontinue the sale of soda pop, or soft drinks on school compounds.

The highly sweetened fizzy drink is known to have disastrous effects on health. Regular consumption of soda is linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, asthma, cavities among others.

On Nov. 23, Chief Nutritionist Lisa Hunt Mitchell hosted one of several meetings with school principals from Districts 5, 6 and 7 to discuss the best way to reduce the consumption of soda among the youth. She said the intention is not to place a hole in the pockets of the local manufacturers, but instead, to ensure a healthier nation.

“We are aware of the negative impacts of soft drinks, so the Ministry of Health is engaging school principals, so that they can be supportive in trying to curtail the sale of soft drinks at the schools. We want to encourage the children to drink more water, instead of juices or soft drinks. Sweetened beverages are bad for the health in general, but soft drinks have added ingredients such as caffeine, phosphoric acid, and colourings that are far worse. These ingredients have very negative effects on the health.”

Read more at: Government of Saint Lucia

Urgent action required to curb chronic NCDs – PM Harris

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 11, 2017 (SKNIS):  Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) continue to take a toll on CARICOM Member States, and urgent action is required to curb the threat of such diseases, said Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during National Assembly on Tuesday, July 11.

Prime Minister Harris was updating the general public and the listening audience on the 38th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, held in Grenada from July 4-6, where he was given the opportunity to present a study on the economic ramifications of NCDs as it relates to Trinidad and Tobago. A similar study was also done in Barbados and Jamaica.

“The study estimated that five per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is being lost by the impact of preventable diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Half of that five per cent is direct medical care cost and the other half is in the loss of productivity,” said Prime Minister Harris, adding that if one was to examine the growth pattern of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region over the last 10 plus years, they would not find that the country would have grown by five percent.

“Therefore, when in fact five per cent of the economy is being impacted negatively with respect to NCDs, this is a major cause for concern. The costs here are significant and they are as unsustainable for any country. Importantly, these diseases are preventable impediments to growth.”


Eating healthy for the holidays


(Barbados Today) It’s just over a week before Christmas and for those who celebrate the season, it is a time of merrymaking and feasting. It is also a time of increased stress, as individuals attempt to ensure that everything is perfect for the big day – shopping for presents, cleaning, cooking and baking.

On the matter of feasting, the Heart & Stroke Foundation is advising that one of our favourite Christmas treats, black cake, may be doing more harm than we think.

“What makes a black cake dark is how much browning you use, and also how long you soak the fruit in liquor. As such, this type of cake may now have significantly more calories when compared to a similar cake without the liquor.”

The Foundation cautions that consuming too many calories can lead to obesity and a higher risk of developing diabetes.

Read more at: Barbados Today

‘Tis the season for family, friends, fun, food and … fitness

Christmas banner 2

christmas fare 1‘Tis the season for family, friends, fun and yes, food!

Yet, throughout this period of merrymaking there is need to be conscientious of our health and the activities that can promote or militate against good health. The issue of over-weight/obesity and the attendant ill-effects of this undesirable physical status are still relevant even amid the pomp and pageantry that is inextricably linked to the Season.pepperpot

While the more dedicated fitness buffs will always adhere to established routines and commitment to health promoting practices, the average person will find it a challenge to do likewise in the midst of the other pressing demands typical of the season.