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CARPHA Partners Meet at PAHO/WHO

The new Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) held its second annual international partners meeting today at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). Participants discussed progress in establishing the new agency as the single public health body responsible for carrying out regional and international health and development mandates in the Caribbean.

Participants included PAHO/WHO Director Mirta Roses, PAHO/WHO Deputy Director Jon Andrus, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas of St Kitts and Nevis (who is also CARICOM Lead Head of Government for Health and Human Resources), CARICOM Secretary General (acting) Lolita Applewhaite, and other leaders from the region. Sir George Alleyne, Director Emeritus of PAHO/WHO, gave opening and closing remarks.

CARPHA seeks to provide a collective response to public health challenges for residents of and visitors to the Caribbean.

"We are proud to be part of this process, and we see CARPHA's establishment as a very important decision and a modern way to organize resources in the Caribbean," said PAHO Director Roses. She said CARPHA would increase opportunities for research and provide other public health benefits, and that the new agency should be presented at international health meetings over the coming year.

Prime Minister Douglas said CARPHA would provide a "bridge to channel" resources and help institutionalize regional efforts. Ambassador Applewhaite thanked PAHO/WHO for its contributions to making the agency a reality.

Among other participants in today's meeting were Minister of Health and Sports of Aruba Richard Visser, Ambassador Michael Louis of St. Lucia, and Minister-Counsellor Freddie Tucker of the Embassy of the Bahamas in Washington.

Delegations from the governments of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands also attended the meeting, along with representatives of the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), and the private sector, among others.


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