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Health minister to chair CARICOM's COHSOD

Friday, August 24, 2012 | 11:51 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson will assume the chairmanship of the Council of Social and Economic Development (COHSOD), in CARICOM this October.

As such Dr Ferguson will also become the chair of the Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Health Ministry reported.

In a meeting including Dr Edward Greene, CARICOM/PAHO advisor on CARPHA, Dr Rudolph Cummings, Health Sector Development Programme manager in the directorate of Human and Social Development in CARICOM and Dr Jerome Walcott, CARPHA implementation programme manager, Dr Ferguson said the appointment comes at a critical juncture, having only recently taken the reigns of the Health Ministry.

"I am very happy that Jamaica will be taking the chair of COHSOD. This is important in carrying forward not just the Jamaican, but also the Caribbean agenda. Changes are coming at a time when CARPHA is in its final deliberations," Ferguson said.

The health ministry said that CARPHA will begin operation in January 2013. The move to put in place one Regional Health Agency began in 2002 when Heads of Government mandated the CARICOM Secretariat to look at ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness of Caribbean health agencies. In 2007, the Heads agreed to proceed with one agency to absorb the functions of five.

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