|Monthly Bulletin No. 5 April 2009|
During the month of April the Caribbean Community Secretariat received notification, that its grant application to Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) had been successful. In addition the Project Manager made presentations at both the CMOs Meeting and the Council Meeting of the CHRC in St. Lucia; updating participants on activities related to the establishment of CARPHA.
The Grant application was made under the PHAC’s Population Health Fund, for a project entitled “Strengthening of the Project Management Team for the Establishment of CARPHA”. The total amount approved is Canadian Dollars four hundred thousand (CAD $ 400,000.00), and the grant will take effect from the 4th May 2009. These funds will provide for the recruitment of consultants to assist with the costing of CARPHA, and the development of an integrated management framework, which will address the transition, personnel and administrative issues that are likely to arise during the establishment of CARPHA.
The terms of reference for the costing have been agreed upon; and the Steering Committee has approved the use of a single source consultancy, to retain the services of TDV International Inc. and two Caribbean counterparts to carryout the exercise.
TDV International Inc. is familiar with the CARPHA process, having been previously recruited by the PHAC to develop a concept paper, for the establishment of CARPHA and to perform the baseline cost assessment of CAREC; which was outlined in the previous Bulletin.
The local counterparts will be Mr. Stanley Lalta; a health economist, and Ms Valerie Wilson, who has worked at CAREC and was Project Manager for European Union funded project; "Strengthening of Medical Laboratory Services in the Caribbean". A preliminary report is expected by the 31st May 2009, to be presented to the COHSOD; while the final report should be submitted by the 15th June 2009.
The Project Manager attended this meeting, and made a presentation to the CMOs outlining the activities related to the establishment of CARPHA, that had taken place since the 17th Caucus of Health Ministers, held in September 2008. Following the presentation there was extensive discussion related to CARPHA, several pertinent comments were made and useful suggestions proposed by the CMOs. They reiterated the importance of having the costing completed, and the need for improved communication from the CARICOM Secretariat was highlighted; especially as it relates to the bulletin and other documents concerning CARPHA. Concerns were raised regarding the need for a comprehensive transition plan, and they felt that it was absolutely necessary that services be maintained during the transition. It was made clear that the Project Management team was cognizant of these issues and they would be addressed.
At this meeting the Project Manager presented an update on CARPHA, after which there was constructive discussion; Council members saw the establishment of CARPHA as an opportunity to strengthen health research in the Region. They were pleased to note that within the proposed structure of CARPHA, all the current functions of CHRC would be maintained. However they felt that because of its unique nature, CHRC should be given some degree of autonomy within CARPHA. It was decided that the Council would write the Steering Committee expressing this position.
Dr. Jerome .X. Walcott
Project Manager CARPHA
Dayrells Rd & Navy Garden, Christ Church, Barbados
Tel: 001-246 434-5200 Fax: 001-246 436-9779
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