SXM Health Minister welcomes new regional health organization

carpha logoST. MAARTEN–Public  Health Minister Cornelius de Weever says he welcomes the news of the new regional health organisation, the Caribbean Public Health Agency Carpha that started its formal operations as of January 1.

Cornelius-de-WeeverCarpha has been created by the Caribbean Community Caricom with support from Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO)/World Health Organisation (WHO) and international partners including Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  Carpha’s work will be aligned with the principles of the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH III) initiative, which seeks to improve the health of the people of the Caribbean and reduce the risks of disease, injury and disability.

De Weever said the principles of Caribbean Cooperation in Health are also in line with his “Get Checked” campaign to improve the welfare and health of the people of St. Maarten, and that the Ministry of Public Health would be making use of Carpha’s capacities for the country.  At Carpha’s Board of Directors meeting in Trinidad last week, the appointment of Dr. James Hospedales as the agency’s new Executive Director was announced.

Hospedales is a former director of Caribbean Epidemiology Centre Carec and is currently senior advisor on prevention and control of chronic diseases at PAHO/WHO. De Weever met with several Caricom Ministers of Public Health who attended a PAHO meeting regarding Carpha, last September. “I understand their objective, because the Caribbean as a region has and may have unique health priorities. It is important that they have a united voice when addressing international health initiatives,” the minister had said last September.

Carpha will facilitate public health research to address common health problems in the region, including the rising epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases, violence and injuries, and emerging and re-emerging diseases such as tuberculosis-HIV co-infection.

Carpha comprises the merging of operations of five regional health institutions: Carec, Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC), Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) and Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory (CRDTL).  Carpha was legally established on July 2, 2011, through an inter-governmental agreement signed by Caricom Member States. It is based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and will be located initially at the current Carec site, but is expected to move to new premises in Coura, St. Augustine, Trinidad.

From The Daily Herald

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