CARPHA ready to assess Basseterre High School

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): A two-member team of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has arrived in St. Kitts today (May 7) to conduct an assessment of Basseterre High School (BHS).

Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control, Dr. Babatunde Olowokure and Technical Officer of Environment Health Assessments in the Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Department, Lesmond Magloire, who both have extensive experience in conducting environmental investigations, will be here until Saturday(May 10).

The agency has stated that it is ready to provide support to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The objectives of the CARPHA team are:

  • To investigate the situation at BHS, the factors leading up to the current situation in the school, and its impact both on and off site;
  • To identify and transmit without delay to the appropriate national authorities any information requiring immediate action to improve safety and/or environmental protection in relation to the incident;
  • To work closely with key stakeholders both to obtain information relevant to the investigation and to keep them informed of progress;
  • To make recommendations for future action to ensure effective management and mitigation;
  • To provide a draft report to national authorities at debriefing and a final report within two weeks of departure.

The CARPHA mission follows the recent visit of the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) last month. This afternoon, the CARPHA team met with the Ministries of Health and Education. Over the course of the next few days, the team will meet with the staff of the school and other key stakeholders. They will also visit the entire school to carry out a physical inspection and take samples. Environmental assessments will be made on areas surrounding the school and interviews will be conducted with affected and non-affected staff and pupils.

Notes to Editors
CARPHA is a new single regional public health agency for the Caribbean. It was officially established in July 2011 by an Inter-Governmental Agreement signed by Caribbean Community Member States and began operation in January 2013.

The Agency rationalises public health arrangements in the Region by combining the functions of five Caribbean Regional Health Institutes (RHIs) into a single agency. They are the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC) and the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory (CRDTL).

The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) is owned by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago but dedicated to the industrial and economic development of the Region. It provides services in:

  • Laboratory and field testing
  • Consulting
  • Research and Development
  • Training

For over 40 years, CARIRI’s multimillion dollar, modern laboratories with – state-of-the-art equipment – together with highly trained specialist professionals, technologists, technicians, consultants and researchers – have been helping Caribbean industries, businesses and small entrepreneurs grow, while keeping the environment safe.

Its guiding principle is to provide the same level of service excellence to each client – from the micro-entrepreneur to the macro-industrialist.

CARIRI’s expertise ranges from analytical testing of materials and products to business development, R&D and innovation. Among its many services are environmental testing, commercialization of new products and training for exporters and food handlers.

CARIRI is equipped with the product development, calibration and testing equipment needed to serve a wide range of industries – from the petrochemical, biotechnical and environmental to manufacturing, agribusiness and ICT.

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