St. Kitts and Nevis signs documents to legally establish CARPHA

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 6TH 2011 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis is among five Caribbean nations that recently signed the necessary documents to formally establish the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) was also signed by Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada and St. Lucia during the 28th Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers, with other countries pledging to join this group in time for the Thirty-Second Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government.

The Conference will be held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort from 30 June to 4 July 2011.

At the Twenty-First Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) on Health, held in April last in Georgetown, Guyana, Ministers of Health had noted that progress towards the establishment of this centre of excellence in public health was affected by the challenges encountered with regard to the completion of the IGA.

CARICOM Heads of Government in March 2010, approved CARPHA, led by a vision for a Community in which the health of the people is promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby fostering the wellness revolution enunciated in the Port-of- Spain Declaration.

The regional public health agency is being established with the overarching purpose of drawing together and building on public health knowledge and expertise across the Caribbean in an effort to prevent duplication of effort and resources, and to facilitate a co-ordinated approach to public health issues, including management of the risk of disease outbreaks.

The consolidated Agency, CARPHA, to be based in Trinidad and Tobago will replace and build on the work of five Regional Health Institutions (RHIs): the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), the Caribbean Environment Health Institute (CEHI), the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFHI), the Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC) and the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory (CRDTL), and arrangements are in place to complete the transition to the Single Agency by 2014.

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