PAHO Launches Project USA Pledge: Telehealth for Noncommunicable Diseases


Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, 28 March 2023 – On Wednesday 5th October the PAHO/WHO Trinidad and Tobago Country Office hosted the launch of Project USA at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain. Project USA emerged as a result of the critical need for telecommunications-enabled healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coined Telehealth, this mode of healthcare provision has become a vital tool for proving care for patients while avoiding exposure to COVID-10, and, in some cases, it can be the only means of reaching isolated remote patients.

The launch featured speakers such as PAHO/WHO Representative Dr. Erica Wheeler, Dr. Marcelo D’Agostino, and Dr. Carlos Otero, both Information Systems and Digital Health experts from PAHO/WHO as well as a representative from the Ministry of Health, Mr. Ryan Ramcharan, Permanent Secretary (Ag.). They gave insight into how Project USA will utilize technology to increase access to physical and mental healthcare and reduce the workload of frontline workers.

Subsequent to the launch, a PAHO team, led by Dr. Paul Edwards, Advisor, Health Systems and Services PAHO/WHO, visited the Sangre Grande Hospital, Arima General Hospital, and the Diego Martin Health Centre to distribute personal computers, laptops, smart TVs, telemedicine kits and servers to facilitate the integration of this telemedicine initiative.

Further to this, PAHO will provide the necessary technical support consultation for an in-depth assessment of the readiness of sites for telemedicine, the development of a change management and communication strategy and plan, the development of health technology policy and training of staff of the Regional Health Authorities