Definition of CCH
The CCH is a mechanism through which Member States of the Caribbean Community:
- collectively focus action and resources over a given period towards the achievement of agreed objectives in priority health areas of common concerns;
- identify the approaches and activities for joint action and/or Technical Cooperation among Countries (TCC) in support of capacity-building for the achievement of the objectives.
Goal of CCH
To improve and sustain the health of the people of the Caribbean. This goal will result in the following:
- Adding years to life and life to years;
- Increasing equity for health within and among countries; and
- Maintaining universal access to quality care for priority problems.
The countries participating in the initiative are Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- 1984 - the CARICOM Conference of Ministers Responsible for Health (CMH) accepted the need for a mechanism for health development through increasing collaboration and promoting technical cooperation among countries in the Caribbean.
- 1986 - The initiative was adopted and seven (7) priorities identified.
- 1996 - Review of CCH in preparation for re-definition and re-formulation to strengthen the initiative.
- 1997 - Consultation with a wide cross section of national and regional professionals in health and planning leading to CCH II, with an increase in priority areas to eight (8) for the period 1999 - 2005;
- Recommendations for strategies for implementation; and
- Identification of areas of common concern requiring joint action were identified.
- 2005 — Evaluation of CCH II and the process of developing CCH III was initiated.
The following priority areas have been targeted identified:
Strengthening Health Systems
Increases the operating capacity within all CARICOM countries to deliver efficient and effective health services to the total population, emphasizing the involvement of local health systems.
Human Resource Development
Plans for, trains, and optimally utilizes the appropriate types of health personnel required to implement the national strategies for achievement of improved health status.
Ensures provision of a wide range of preventive, curative, rehabilitative and supportive services to meet basic health needs of mothers, children, adolescents and the elderly, giving special attention to high-risk individuals and groups.
Food and Nutrition
Prevents malnutrition in all its forms and controls those diseases conditioned by nutrition practices and behavior.
Develops and implements programs for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases through:
- Promotion of health;
- Prevention of disease; and
- Appropriate, quality care, including rehabilitation.
Increases the capacity of countries to prevent and control communicable diseases, including STDs and HIV/AIDS by focusing on:
- Food-, water- and vector-borne diseases;
- Vaccine preventable diseases; and
- STD/HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Develops comprehensive mental health programs in collaboration with Ministries of Health, NGOs, the private sector and regional and international institutions, emphasizing:
- Mental health promotion/prevention of mental illness, including substance abuse;
- Information for decision-making;
- Human resource development;
- Framework for development of mental health programs, including policy and legislation; and
- Integrated community-based mental health services.
Reduces health risks associated with environmental conditions through promotion of environmental health programs, including vector control, emphasizing:
- Safe water supply / appropriate excreta disposal;
- Control of pollution;
- Safety of food;
- Proper disposal of solid wastes; and
- Control of toxic chemicals.