CARPHA Provides Support to Dominica in the Aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika

In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has been providing support to the Commonwealth of Dominica particular in the area of surveillance.  Dr. C James Hospedales, Executive Director of CARPHA accompanied by two Officers from the Agency, travelled to Dominica shortly after the disaster and in-country assistance was provided for three weeks. Working alongside the Government of Dominica, PAHO/WHO, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), CDEMA and other CARICOM institutions, CARPHA has been helping to coordinate efforts in an attempt to bring relief to the worst hit areas of Dominica.


During this period, CARPHA worked closely with the Health Information Unit within the Dominica Ministry of Health to identify and manage any disease outbreaks following Tropical Storm Erika. CARPHA participated in the regular Health Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) meetings, which discussed important health system issues and reviewed the surveillance data collected daily from the health centres on key conditions, such as gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, fever and physical injuries.  In addition, the CARPHA team conducted site visits to a number of shelters and health centres affected by Tropical Storm Erika across Dominica.   Based on information collected through these site visits and close liaison with the Environmental Health team and others, a dashboard was developed detailing access to the communities, provision of key utilities (such as water, electricity, phone lines, solid waste collection) as well as any disruptions in the delivery of health services. Information from the dashboard has been useful in highlighting key issues of public health concern and has enabled responders to identify where resources or specific input are required.


CARPHA supported the work of the Health Information Unit to provide training and education on the importance of post-disaster health surveillance to health professionals across Dominica. This included contributing to teaching sessions for Accident and Emergency staff, public health nurses and environmental health officers, as well as taking part in the first nationwide online training for doctors on gastroenteritis.


CARPHA will continue to provide support to Dominica as it recovers from the significant impact of Tropical Storm Erika.

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