Integrated Vector Management: a critical strategy for fighting vector-borne diseases in the Region

Dr. James Hospedales

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 5 December, 2017.  “The increased severity of dengue and the occurrence of new viruses that have swept through the Region tell us we have a gap in regional health security where vector borne diseases are concerned.  This year we had storms that were unprecedented.  We are expected to see more monster storms which will cause disruption including making the environment more favorable for vectors.  Hence the need for integrated vector management and looking at some of the new tools that are available.”

These were the words of Dr C James Hospedales, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), as he spoke at the Opening Ceremony of the Integrated Vector Management (IVM) coordinated by the Agency.

The two-day meeting held from 5-6 December 2017, at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre, brought together participants from 27 English, French, Dutch and Spanish speaking countries in the Region to review and discuss the adaptation of standardised protocols for improved vector surveillance, including insecticide resistance testing.  The meeting will engage regional vector control managers in discussions related to the adaptation and use of a IVM toolkit in national vector control programmes.

The transmission of vector-borne diseases is strongly influenced by demographic, social and environmental factors, resulting in the emergence and re-emergence of yellow fever, malaria and dengue; and more recently, the emergence of chikungunya and zika in the Region. (more…)

EU commits €665,000 to reduce spread of Zika in the Caribbean

EU representative, Daniela Tramacere
EU Ambassador, Daniela Tramacere

The European Union has committed €655,000 to help Caribbean States reduce the spread and impact of Zika and other mosquito borne diseases in the Region. The activities will be implemented by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) under the leadership of the Caribbean Forum for ACP States (CARIFORUM).

The specific objective is to support CARPHA’s activities to strengthen health systems to effectively monitor, prevent and control Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases in the Caribbean region, ultimately to contribute to improving public health of the Caribbean population.

The main activities are to promote early detection and effective monitoring of Zika, to enhance laboratory capacity for detection, to assist in the development of national registries of pregnant women exposed to Zika, and to strengthen public education and behaviour change regarding Zika and other airborne viruses. (more…)

Join CARPHA in fight against mosquitoes

Dominica Aedes_Aegypti_MosquitoPort of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – 10 October 2017 –  Two years after the first outbreak of Zika in the Caribbean, the invasion of this mosquito-borne virus has reduced significantly. While health officials have reported a decrease in the number of suspected and confirmed cases, it is important to note that the virus is still present within our communities.

In light of this, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is intensifying its campaign to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the common vector for Zika, Chikungunya, Dengue and Yellow Fever. Similar to previous campaign efforts, the Agency continues to provide valuable information that can help in the prevention and control of mosquito-borne diseases, spread by the Aedes aegypti.

With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CARPHA has created an innovative information toolkit, which includes animated videos, posters and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). The toolkit is specially packaged to meet the needs of a diverse audience, which include public health professionals and clinicians, pregnant women, and children. (more…)

Regional network launched to collaborate on Zika, other vector-borne diseases

CariVecNetMosquito borne diseases continue to impact the Caribbean’s social, economic and health sectors. Recent outbreaks of Zika (2016), and Chikungunya (2014) and the continued circulation of Dengue, highlight the need for an integrated approach to the prevention and control of these vector borne diseases (VBDs), especially since many countries depend on tourism as a major source of revenue.  The need for a Caribbean Vector-Borne Diseases Network, to facilitate information exchange on circulating VBDs, diagnosis and epidemiological trends, collaborate on vector control and research topics was identified as a critical mechanism through which these diseases can be addressed in the Region.

On August 8, 2017, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in collaboration with the Pedro Kouri Institute (IPK), the Institute Pasteur and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, formally launched the Caribbean Vector-Borne Diseases Network (CariVecNet) at IPK, Havana, Cuba.  The launch was attended by representatives from member states, consortium institutions; St Georges’ University, Grenada; World Health Organisation (WHO); Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO); and the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR/WHO). (more…)

U.S. Strategy for Engagement in the Caribbean

US and CARICOM Flags at NYSE

Caribbean 2020: A Multi-Year Strategy To Increase the Security, Prosperity, and Well-Being of the People of the United States and the Caribbean

The Caribbean region is the United States’ “third border,” characterized by common interests and societal ties that yield daily, tangible benefits for U.S. citizens. The United States is the primary trading partner for the Caribbean, representing a vibrant economic partnership that in 2016 saw a $4.6 billion trade surplus for the United States, 14 million U.S. tourist visits, and 11,042 Caribbean students studying in the United States. We also face many common threats across the region. Small, but significant, numbers of violent extremists from the region have joined ISIS. Caribbean countries have some of the highest murder rates in the world. Rising crime and endemic corruption threaten governments’ ability to provide security and good governance. They also drive irregular migration to the United States. As the United States works to secure its southern border, we should prepare for transnational criminal organizations to shift more of their operations to the Caribbean as a transit point for drugs, migrants, weapons, and other illicit activity.

This strategy, coordinated with the interagency, identifies the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development’s priorities for United States engagement with the Caribbean region in the areas of security, diplomacy, prosperity, energy, education, and health. On security, we will work with our Caribbean partners to ensure ISIS is denied a foothold in the region, dismantle illicit trafficking networks, enhance maritime security, confront violent and organized crime, and increase the sharing of threat information among countries. Our diplomacy will both raise the political level of our dialogue with the Caribbean and focus it more tightly on this strategy’s six priorities. We will increase our own and our neighbors’ prosperity by promoting sustainable growth, open markets for U.S. exports, and private sector-led investment and development. On energy, exports of U.S. natural gas and the use of U.S. renewable energy technologies will provide cleaner, cheaper alternatives to heavy fuel oil and lessen reliance on Venezuela.

On education, we will focus our resources on exchanges and programs for students, scholars, teachers, and other professionals that provide mutual benefits to U.S. and Caribbean communities and promote economic development and entrepreneurship. In the area of health, we will continue to partner with countries in the region in the fight against infectious diseases, like HIV/AIDS and Zika, recognizing deadly pathogens are threats that know no borders.

Read more at: US State Department