|Monthly Bulletin No. 2 February 2009|
As anticipated in the last Bulletin a meeting of the Steering Committee, Special Advisory Group, Project Management Team and the Directors of the Regional Health Institutions, was held at the PAHO-CPC Office in Barbados on the 16th and 17th of January. This was a very important meeting at which consensus was reached on a number of matters related to the establishment of CARPHA.
The Meeting looked in detail at the Structure and proposed Functional Units of CARPHA, including Administration and its various sub-units; as proposed in the document "Progress on the Establishment of CARPHA" January 2009.
It agreed that the preferred option would be one main campus for CARPHA. The major variation from the proposed functions was the establishment of a Surveillance and Risk Assessment Unit, to encompass laboratory services and an expanded Epidemiology Unit, thus ensuring that the vital and important link between epidemiology and laboratory services would occur.
It was also agreed that the Research and Evaluation Unit would carry out the present functions of CHRC namely; the facilitation and promotion of research capacity in member countries, the development of a strategic research agenda for CARICOM and the sharing of scientific outputs. This unit would also be required to promote the development and strengthening of monitoring and evaluation capacity and systems in the Caribbean.
The requirements and the methodology for the costing of CARPHA were discussed at length. It was felt that the exercise would be extensive. To facilitate the completion of the baseline information by the end of February, the RHI Directors have been requested to submit information pertaining to the human resource requirements and budgets. These are prerequisite for the mapping of the human resource requirement for the various functions. The final phase of the exercise would be the overall costing of the CARPHA structure by early June 2009.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has offered to assist in the baseline costing and this work is expected to commence shortly with the initial focus being on the epidemiological unit, the functions of which are currently carried out mainly by CAREC.
Meanwhile the CARICOM Secretariat organized a follow up teleconference between the Directors of CEHI and CCCCC to examine the modalities for the continuation of the non-public health components of CEHI’s programmes. It was agreed that the Director of CEHI should attend the next meeting of the Task Force on Climate Change and Development in March 2009 , and to engage in the discussions on how to move forward with the sustainable development activities that are aligned with those of the of CCCCC.
It was also agreed that all bulletins and reports on CARPHA would be posted on the CARICOM and PAHO websites and that all RHIs would be requested to facilitate the dissemination of information on their websites.