|Monthly Bulletin No. 4 March 2009|
During the month of March emphasis was placed on mobilizing technical and financial resources and finalizing the baseline study, using CAREC as a model.
Dr. Gandi (PAHO-CPC) and Dr. Walcott (Project Manager) hosted a delegation, led by Prof. Susan Atkinson acting on behalf of the Department of Health of the United Kingdom, as well as Mr. Andrew Rogers and Ms. Bryony Lloyd. This delegation embarked on a fact finding mission that focused on the CARPHA process and areas that may be considered for technical assistance by United Kingdom’s Department of Health. It also considered the possibility of the UK’s assistance in an economic impact assessment of CARPHA i.e. the developmental and economic/financial benefits that can accrue to the Region by developing an efficient and modern public health agency. As part of this fact finding mission, the Team visited Trinidad and Tobago and met with the Directors of CAREC and CHRC. They also held discussions with Dr. Anton Cumberbatch, Chief Medical Officer, of that country.
Teleconferences were arranged between these consultants and Dr. Edward Greene, Dr Fitzroy Henry (CFNI) and Dr. Lucette Cargill (CRDTL), so that their perspectives on CARPHA could be discussed. A planned visit to CEHI was cancelled when it was recognized that the Director and other senior staff were on duty leave overseas. In Barbados, meetings were also arranged with the acting CMO, Dr. George and Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand, SMOH. We now await the report and recommendations of the UK delegation.
In last month’s Bulletin mention was made of a Grant Proposal which had been submitted to Canadian Public Health Agency. Subsequent to this, additional information was requested; to which responses were prepared and submitted in the form of an Annex to the Proposal. The outcome of this process should soon be made known to the Project Management Team.
Meanwhile the baseline costing of CAREC, which was highlighted in last month’s Bulletin has been completed, this was presented and discussed via an Elluminate session on the 31st March which included Dr. Edward Greene (Steering Committee), Dr. Theodore-Gandi (Project Management Team), Dr. Walcott (Project Manager), Ms. Ranu Sharma of PHAC; the sponsors of this project, as well as, Mr. Brian McKay and others from TDV Global, consultant agency. The process and findings of the baseline assessment were discussed and it was suggested that the next steps in the costing process should place emphasis on zero-based budgeting and the collection of critical information on CARICOM pay scales, HR benefits and administrative rules, as well as RHI posts, pay scales and financial reports. In addition it was felt; that PAHO should be approached about the possibility of providing technical assistance in terms of the costing.
The revised document “Progress on the Establishment of CARPHA” has been completed and is being circulated. It incorporates the recommendations of the expanded Steering Committee meeting that was convened in Barbados in January.
The Project Manager has been invited to make a presentation on CARPHA at the CMO’s Meeting in St. Lucia next month; in addition he has been invited to be an observer at the CHRC Council meeting also scheduled for next month in St. Lucia.
In other related matters, Minister Leslie Ramsammy and Dr. Edward Greene are expected to visit Trinidad and Tobago in April, to engage in talks with representatives of the Government about the proposal to site the Headquarters of CARPHA there. In the meantime CARICOM has submitted a proposal for funding of CARPHA to the EU for consideration.
Dr. Jerome X. Walcott
Project Manager CARPHA