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About the Sustainable Development and Environmental Health Programme in Jamaica, September 2010

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Monday, 17 August 2009 13:51

The goal of the Sustainable Development and Environmental Health Programme is to improve the environmental determinants of health, the capacity and knowledge base of environmental health personnel in health promotion, road safety, policy formulation, data management and evaluation of environmental health and food protection programmes.

The Sustainable Development and Environmental Health Programme includes sustainable development, water, sanitation, solid waste management, air pollution, occupational health, Food Safety, Veterinary Public Health, Port Quarantine and Road Safety, as well as the Disaster Programme, including the Avian and Influenza Pandemics. 

Technical cooperation is provided to the Ministry of Health and Environment, National Water Commission, Ministry of Water and Housing, National Solid Waste Management Authority, Water Resources Authority, and ODPEM among others.  Also alliances are formed with international organizations and agencies and NGOs to tackle some of the environmental determinants of health.  An example is the collaborative effort between UNEP and PAHO to study the wastewater treatment plants efficiency to fully determine the compliance by the Government of Jamaica with the Protocol concerning Pollution from Land-Based sources and Activities in the Wider Caribbean Region (LBS Protocol) of the Cartagena Convention to which Jamaica is a signatory.

In regard to water quality technical cooperation is directed to: 1) update the situation analysis on water sector, 2) update the drinking water quality regulations; 3) upgrade the water quality monitoring of minor water supply systems; 3) implementation of new methodologies such as the Water Safety Plans for integral protection of  drinking water and Health Impact Assessment within the framework of Environmental Impact Assessments.

PAHO response to recent outbreaks on  Dengue, Malaria and Leptospirosis has included the mobilization of  experts from the Caribbean Region, the provision of laboratory materials and reagents to strengthen the laboratory capacity in several national laboratories and the support to sanitary and hygiene educational campaigns.

(August 2009)