The Region’s Chief Medical officers were lauded for their role in helping the Region to successfully manage the COVID-19 outbreak so far. The sentiments were expressed by the Director of Human Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Helen Royer. She was giving welcome remarks at an opening ceremony of the the 28th Meeting of Chief Medical Officers of the Caribbean Community recently.
Amazingly to the world perhaps, but not to those of us from the Caribbean, our Region has emerged from the first wave standing. We owe much of our success to you, our Chief Medical Officers, who have been at the forefront, doing all that you can in an environment where, as a Region, we were facing many challenges in accessing COVID-19 medical supplies,” Ms Royer said.
She added that although they had many long and sleepless nights, they were now reaping the benefits of their commitment to ensuring that the people of the Caribbean were safe.
We salute each and every Chief Medical Officer and we thank you for the tremendous job that you are doing,” Ms Royer stated.
She said the Region was vulnerable to a second wave of cases as a result of community spread as countries opened their borders to accommodate inter- and intra-regional travel to facilitate economic survival.
She also commended the Community Institutions such as the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and the University of the West indies for their contributions. She also extended gratitude to the Pan American health Organisation (PAHO) for its contribution towards national and regional responses to COVID-19.
Ms. Royer also used the opportunity to remind the Chief Medical officers about other health challenges facing the Community aside from COVID-19. She told them not to lose sight of other critical health concerns with which the Region was still grappling such as non-communicable diseases and HIV/AIDS.
The Chief Medical Officers discussed a number of issues during the meeting including those Ms. Royer suggested. The meeting, which was held virtually, concluded on Thursday.