CARPHA urges region to prepare for possibility of severe dengue outbreak

(CARPHA PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – While chikungunya and zika, which swept the region in 2014 and 2016 are not expected back anytime soon, CARPHA is warning, “gear-up for the possibility of a major outbreak of dengue fever in 2018.”

This because as before, the pre-conditions of abundant mosquito vector levels still exist, and increased levels of dengue are being reported in Latin America and elsewhere.

It is imperative as rainy season begins in many countries that efforts to stop mosquitos breeding and biting be stepped up, especially for pregnant women and vulnerable populations.

These mosquitos borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and zika threaten health, tourism, social and economic development, so everyone needs to work together. Dengue remains a global health problem and like zika and chikungunya, there is no specific treatment for the disease. (more…)

Thought Leadership Forum underway

Professor Ivelaw Griffith, Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, (standing) positing his thoughts on the implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategy at an unprecedented Thought Leadership Forum on Wednesday.

The Forum was held as part of the opening ceremony of the Thirty-Fourth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) at the Theatre Guild in Georgetown, Guyana.

Forum discussants included the Hon. Delmaude Ryan, Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport of Montserrat and Mr. Adrian Augier, Artist, Economist and Recipient of the Caribbean Laureate of Arts and Letters Award.


CARPHA executive director urges caution on decriminalisation of marijuana

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) — The executive director of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr. James Hosepdales, is urging regional countries to “proceed with an abundance of caution” when it come to the decriminalisation of marijuana.

Hospedales, who spoke on a government radio programme “Working for you”, said there is much discussion on the decriminalisation issue and that there have been several times in history where populations and societies have gone very liberal with substances of abuse.

“The Americans are in the middle of a big opioid crisis and some many decades ago they had a huge problem with addiction and especially among white women,” he said.

“We in the Caribbean have a problem with marijuana and clogging up of the courts and the justice system and that’s understandable to try and reduce that side effect. I think though, in introducing these kinds of public policies, consideration has to be given to the full range of impact.”

Read more at: Jamaica Observer

Investment in health is an essential priority

 The Region’s health care systems and the public health infrastructure are in urgent need of attention and should be better financed and more cost effective.  Strengthening health systems has been identified as a priority health area for the Caribbean from as early as 1984 and has remained so due in part to an upward spiral in health cost and finite resources. Greater investment is urgently needed especially in cost effective health promotion, disease prevention and population health measures.
Health research was identified as one key aspect of the health system capacity that needs to be improved and made more policy-relevant. Research is needed to address critical issues such as the improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of health systems, investments needs and opportunities, and barriers to uptake of services and evidence.For this reason, “Sustainable Health Systems for Economic Development and Wealth” has been chosen as the theme for Caribbean Public Health Agency’s (CARPHA) 63rd Annual Health Research Conference this year. The aim is to highlight indigenous research that can contribute to health systems strengthening and improve the performance of the six health systems building blocks: governance, financing, service delivery arrangements, health human resources, information and evidence, and medical products and technologies. (more…)

CAHFSA recognised as 10th Regional Plant Protection Organisation

The Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) was recognised as a Regional Plant Protection Organisation (RPPO) by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-13) being held this week at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Headquarters in Rome. The IPPC Community attending the CPM congratulated and wished the newly recognised organisation a fruitful work.

Ms. Juliet Goldsmith, CAHFSA Plant Health Expert, thanked all individuals who were instrumental in this recognition. She acknowledged the member countries of CAHFSA and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as well as its associate members and territories; the Caribbean Plant Health Directors’ Forum (CPHD); partner countries of the Caribbean Basin, in particular the USA;, and organisations such as IICA and OIRSA (the RPPO for Central America); who worked together for the best interest of plant health in the region in the absence of a formal RPPO in the Caribbean. She invited Contracting Parties, RPPOs and partner agencies to continue to cooperate and support CAHFSA to help it to grow into a mature and functional RPPO.

CAHFSA was an observer to the Technical Consultation of Regional Plant Protection Organisations (TC-RPPO) for the last two years. During the 29th TC-RPPO held last November in Paris, CAHFSA asked the IPPC Secretariat to initiate the procedure required for their recognition as a RPPO, under Article IX of the IPPC.

CAHFSA/CARICOM is composed of the following Member States: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and of the following Associate Members: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands.