|Monthly Bulletin No. 6 June 2009|
During the period since the release of the last Bulletin, the Consultants commenced work on the costing of CARPHA. In addition the 4th Meeting of the CARPHA Steering Committee was held, and the Project Manager made presentations on CARPHA, to CARICOM Health Ministers, both at the 62nd World Health Assembly and more recently at the 18th COHSOD.
The costing of CARPHA has commenced, and the consultants have been collecting and collating the financial and other relevant information. A preliminary report was presented and discussed in detail, at the 4th meeting of the CARPHA Steering Committee; this report was also presented to the 18th COHSOD (Health). Coming out of discussions at the Steering Committee meeting, it was agreed that additional information was needed, and that greater detail was required especially as related to the proposed functions of CARPHA; in order to perform an accurate costing.
As a result it was decided, that a special meeting would be convened in Barbados, towards the end of June, to facilitate discussion on the details of the functions and other strategic priorities, related to the costing. This meeting will include Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi (PAHO-CPC), Dr. Rudy Cummings (CARICOM Sect.), Dr. Anton Cumberbatch (CMO Trinidad and Tobago), Dr. Irad Potter (CMO of the BVI), Dr. Walcott (Project Manager), the Directors of the RHIs and the Consultants. It has also been agreed, that the Consultants will visit the RHIs and meet with the Directors prior to the meeting. It is therefore now anticipated that the draft final costing report, will be ready by the end of July.
The 4th CARPHA Steering Committee meeting was held in Montego Bay, Jamaica on the 2nd June; the agenda included a review of activities since the last Steering Committee meeting, and discussion of the preliminary costing report, as mentioned before. There was also discussion on the future transition issues, resource mobilization, legal issues, a new timetable for the establishment of CARPHA and a presentation by Dr Christopher Brookes of the UK Department of Health. The report of this meeting will shortly be distributed.
The Project Manager presented an update on activities, related to the establishment of CARPHA; which was well received. Minister Narace, the Minister of Health of Trinidad and Tobago sought and received approval, to approach his country’s Cabinet with a proposal to proceed with the construction of their Public Health laboratory, with the understanding that provision would be made for the accommodation of CARPHA, at the same site on a modular basis; that is co-location of the two entities.
Presentations on CARPHA were made by the Project Manager and a representative of TDV International; the Consultants performing the costing. All Ministers present, expressed support for the establishment of CARPHA; they received clarification on specific queries and offered useful suggestions. The Health Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, reiterated the offer of his country to host CARPHA, and posited that we should plan for a first world type Public Health Agency in the costing process.
A report was received from the UK Department of Public Health at the end of May; it gave an overview of the findings of the Delegation that had visited in March, and mentioned areas in which they could be possible technical assistance for the establishment of CARPHA. Dr. Christopher Brookes of that Department was invited to attend the Steering Committee meeting; at the end of the meeting, he indicated that he had a better understanding of what was required, in terms of the possible assistance which his Department could provide.
Dr. Jerome X. Walcott
Project Manager CARPHA