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CARPHA, full speed ahead

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is moving full speed ahead to becoming one of the centres of excellence within the CARIBBEAN Community (CARICOM).

This is according to Dr the Honourable Leslie Ramsammy Chair of the steering Committee of this recently established Agency. CARPHA became a legal entity following the final required signing of the Inter-governmental Agreement at the 32nd Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in St Kitts and Nevis, July 2011.

Dr Ramsammy, who was addressing the Fourth Meeting of the CARICOM Secretary-General and Heads of Regional Institutions in Georgetown, Guyana on Wednesday, told the meeting that now that CARPHA was a legal entity and a CARICOM Institution, it was time for further action.

The next step, he stated was for the Steering Committee which has been in place since June, 2008, to hand over the reins of leadership to the CARPHA Executive Board. This he said would be done at the Board’s inaugural meeting set for Washington DC, USA on September 23 which will take place after the United Nations High Level Meeting on Chronic Diseases Prevention scheduled for UN Headquarters, New York, USA.

“It will be my good fortune and honour as Chair of COHSOD, to also preside over that landmark occasion of this new CARICOM Institution,” the Guyana Health Minister announced.

He added that the CARPHA Implementation Team, headed by an Executive Director should be in place by early 2012 and that both the resource mobilisation strategy and the CARPHA business plan would be implemented by mid 2012.

CARPHA, with headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago, will consolidate the core functions of five regional health institutions to provide quality public health care to the Region’s peoples

According to Dr. Ramsammy, the core facility to host CARPHA will be ready by the end of 2014 and by then, all core functions of the five Regional Health Institutions (RHIs) would have been integrated under this Agency.

“But let it be clear CARPHA is currently in effect. It is in transition but it is in effect,” Dr. Ramsammy declared.

The decision for CARPHA was based on a vision that responds to the essential principles enunciated in the 2001 Nassau Declaration: the health of the region is the wealth of the region.

Dr Ramsammy noted that “It is a tribute to this Community that CARPHA is the final link in the chain of actionable recommendations of which the Caribbean Cooperation in Health, the Pan Caribbean Partnerships against HIV/AIDS and the elements of the Port-of-Spain Declaration, Uniting to stop Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, , are critical components.”

“We foresee its positive impact on the economy and well being of the Region,” he concluded.

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