New fund launched to assist CARPHA deal with outbreaks and health emergencies

Saturday, June 16, 2018

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BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) — A fund has been launched to provide financial support and assistance to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to manage outbreaks and emergencies with health and humanitarian consequences across the risk management cycles.

The Stop Epidemics There and Here (SETH) Fund was launched at the 63rd CARPHA Health Research Conference that ends later today.

Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards, said that the best insurance that a nation can have is to effectively manage outbreaks and emergencies that have severe health and humanitarian consequences.

“Our best insurance is to stop epidemics both there in our major tourist source markets and throughout the world and right here in the Caribbean. We have made good progress in areas such as disease surveillance, emergency preparedness and response, as well as health promotion and policy development. Today, CARICOM is progressing one step further with the official launch of the SETH Fund,” he said.

He said that the fund will support member states to better respond to all major threats to regional health security, many of which are being made worst by climate change.

The initiative for the fund came out of the 17th special session of the CARICOM leaders on November 4, 2014, where two key public health challenges were discussed. These challenges were the Ebola Virus Disease and the Chikungunya outbreak.

“The meeting agreed that no member state of CARICOM should have to battle the public health challenges of infectious and vector-borne diseases on its own.

“Everyone can contribute to the SETH Fund which needs donations from citizens like you here and abroad, from regional and international governments, organizations, the corporate community and developmental agencies,” said Richards.

Meanwhile, health professionals, researchers, policy makers, and other public health officials from across the Caribbean region, Latin America, North America and Europe, are attending the conference.

CARPHA executive director, Dr James Hospedales outlined the important role the Trinidad-based agency plays in the region not only with the hosting of the conference but also the work that will follow over the next year.

“CARPHA plays a very important role in hosting this conference and in a number of other ways such as training, capacity building, research, the translation of research into policy and policy dialogues,” he said.

The conference is featuring sessions on non-communicable diseases, health systems policy and planning, strengthening global cancer research and control, and communicable disease surveillance and prevention.

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