The new Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) will begin operations from January 3 when it will accelerate the ‘Wellness Revolution’ in the Caribbean, according to Project Manager Dr Jerome Walcott.
The agency is expected to address the public health challenges facing the Caribbean, including lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer; communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS; the social determinants of health, including crime and violence; and the health aspects of natural disasters.
According to a press release from the agency, in its initial phase it will focus on recruiting internally and externally to provide a bedrock of talent and skills for CARPHA and institutional strengthening to ensure the agency is a Centre for Excellence from the outset.
In addition, the agency will also ensure the streamlining of financial, administrative and legal matters to put a solid foundation in place. It will also concentrate on developing an integrated management structure and implementing a sound information technology infrastructure to support efficient and effective operations.
Meanwhile, a new CARPHA headquarters is to be set up with the design and construction of a campus to be located in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 2014, the release said.
CARPHA is a new single public health agency legally established on July 2, 2011 and it will combine and build on the functions of the Caribbean’s five Regional Health Institutes: Caribbean Epidemiological Research Center (CAREC), Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC), Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI0, Caribbean environmental Health Institute (CEHI), and the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory (CRDTL).