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Conference on Leadership for Public Health Education in the CARICOM Region
2009-10-15 22:16:31

The Pan American Health Organization Office of Caribbean Program Coordination (PAHO/OCPC) convened its inaugural conference on Leadership for Public Health Education in the CARICOM Region on December 8-9, 2008 at its offices on Dayrells and Navy Gardens Roads in Christ Church, Barbados.

This was the first meeting of all public health degree programs based in the CARICOM region. Meeting participants included the Chairs of Academic Public Health Programs in the CARICOM Region, including those at the University of the West Indies, the University of Suriname, the University of Trinidad and Tobago, St. Georges University and Northern Caribbean University. CARICOM regional bodies such as the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAMC), the Caribbean Authority for Accreditation in Medicine and the Other Health Professions (CAAM-HP), and the Regional Nursing Body (RNB) also attended and participated. Other stakeholders included the Faculty of Public Health and the Royal Society for Public Health, United Kingdom, along with US-based stakeholders such as the Council for Education in Public Health, the Center for Advancement in Health W.K. Kellogg Foundation Scholars, and the Consortium of African American Programs in Public Health.

The main goals of the meeting were to discuss the standards for public health practice and competence for the CARICOM region, to discuss academic public health programs in the region, to review their accreditation at a global level and the leadership role that they can play in educating public health professionals to meet the CARICOM and global health needs. This meeting enabled regional and global stakeholders in health to interact and exchange views on public health training, and to highlight the progress made in public health education in the CARICOM region over the past two decades.

A major outcome of this meeting was the unanimous agreement from all programs to form the Caribbean Consortium of Public Health Education Programs. This Consortium will be facilitated by the PAHO-OCPC to strengthen CARICOM infrastructure and capacity for public health education and training. This will contribute to the development of sustained strategies to produce a CARICOM public health workforce with the much needed skills and competencies to meet the health and development needs of the CARICOM region and the global public health agenda.

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