PAHO provides US$750k to Caribbean Public Health Agency
Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr Joy St John (left), and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Sub-Regional Programme Director, Dean Chambliss, bump elbows after signing a US$750,000 subsidiary agreement at CARPHA’s headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago. Photo: JIS

KINGSTON, Jamaica – An additional US$750,000 in financing support has been provided by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

The funding comes under PAHO’s Biennial Work Plan, which spans two-year funding periods, the last of which ended in December 2021.

The latest allocation will cover CARPHA’s programme implementation schedule for 2022 and 2023, which aims to improve regional public health delivery among member countries.

Projects and activities targeted include improving access to safe and affordable medicines, policy implementation for healthy food environments, and strengthening countries’ capacities for surveilling communicable and non-communicable diseases.

PAHO’s Subregional Programme Director, Dean Chambliss, and CARPHA’s Executive Director, Dr Joy St John, signed an 18-month subsidiary funding agreement during a recent semi-virtual ceremony at the regional body’s headquarters in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Chambliss, in his remarks, described the signing as an “important milestone” and “perhaps, the most important element in the implementation of the strategic framework agreement between our organisations, signed last year”.

“These agreements not only provide structure to our alliance but also symbolise the commitment we share to working together to advance public health in the Caribbean region, in support of our Member States and the Caribbean people,” he added.

Chambliss said that since commencing operations in 2013, CARPHA has evolved into the “public health leader it is today”.

He noted that, along with enhancing national capacities to deliver public health goods and services and providing laboratory support for disease surveillance to its member states, CARPHA coordinates responses to public health crises in the Caribbean.

“The COVID-19 pandemic experience has clearly demonstrated that CARPHA is a critical partner to all Caribbean Member States, as they tackle both acute and chronic health challenges,” the Programme Director added.

Chambliss said PAHO looked forward to its continued strong collaboration and partnership with CARPHA, “in support of health development in the Caribbean, with universal health access and coverage for all.”

In her remarks, Dr St John, noted that CARPHA’s mandate to provide public health services to the region will remain a priority “as we align our activities to our strategic objectives and the overall vision of the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH) initiative”.

The CCH, for which CARPHA is the implementing mechanism, was established as the strategic framework to promote collaborative action in addressing the critical public health problems facing the region.

“CARPHA looks forward to the continued collaboration with PAHO… one of its long-standing partners… both as a funding partner and a technical partner, in the delivery of care to the citizens of Caricom,” Dr St John said.

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