Bridgetown, Barbados, 1 September 2022 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries (ECC) hosted an orientation for the newly appointed Ministers of Health of St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada on the Organization’s structure, functions, and its technical cooperation.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Health of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Terrence Drew, and Senator the Hon. G. Jonathan La Crette, Minister of Health, Wellness and Religious Affairs, Grenada, participated in the hybrid session which was led by Dr. Amalia Del Riego, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries.
“I am happy to be a part of this and give my commitment that I will be active with what you have in store for the Caribbean as far as health is concern,” said Prime Minister and Minister of Health Drew, who also serves as the spokesperson for Caricom on health issues.
Minister La Crette acknowledged his excitement about the continued collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization. “I am here to learn and ascertain what needs to be done, so that we can move forward in strengthening our heath care systems and make them more resilient,” he said.
Dr. Del Riego provided a comprehensive overview of the histories of PAHO\WHO, the constitutional structures, the governing bodies and leadership as well as technical cooperation areas. The PAHO representative also outlined the existing organizational structure at the level of the Barbados office. About this she said, “This is another technical capacity that could create synergies to better support the technical cooperation in the countries, with the support of the regional and global levels as required.”
A presentation on PAHO’s program budget for 2022-23 and how it is financed was given by Ms. Patricia Cabrejo, Administrator at the PAHO Barbados office.
The Ministers expressed appreciation for the very comprehensive presentations and discussion.
In closing, Dr. Del Riego thanked the Ministers for their participation and assured them of other upcoming opportunities to have a more in-depth discussions on the specific needs and priorities of each of the countries.