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Wednesday, April 19, 2006 

St. Kitts & Nevis represented at meeting of PAHO Caribbean Area Managers meeting (114/2006)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 18TH 2006 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis is being represented at the 2006 annual meeting of managers of the Pan American Health Organisation, (PAHO) sub-region.Minister of Health, Hon. Rupert Herbert is attending the meeting which ends on Friday at the Office of Caribbean Program Coordination (OCPC) in Barbados.

PAHO’s Director, Dr. Mirta Roses Periago is heading the top level delegation from the Washington-based headquarters of PAHO. Administered by PAHO, the regional office of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Caribbean is part of the Region of the Americas, which is one of five regions served by the WHO.

This is the first time in seven years that Barbados is hosting the meeting of the organisation’s sub-regional area managers.Barbados’ Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Jerome Walcott addressed the formal opening session on Tuesday morning on a range of national programme issues including progress towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, highlighting mechanisms, successes, and lessons learned that could benefit the sub-region.

The area managers are expected to review the roles, responsibilities, and mechanisms for strengthening PAHO/WHO’s technical cooperation in the Caribbean, including the implications of its sub-regional policy and approach.Additionally, the meeting will be updated on a restructuring proposal for the OCPC which includes a revised delegation of authority.

According to a OCPC background document, “the restructuring and strengthening of the organisation’s technical co-operation in the Caribbean sub-region will have to be consistent not only with sub-regional priorities that support national health development, but also with regional and global agreements, above all…the Millennium Development Goals as applicable to the sub-region.”

Traditionally, the Organisation’s technical co-operation programme in the Caribbean is provided mainly through the Office of Caribbean Program Coordination (OCPC), other PAHO/WHO country offices, and the PAHO specialised Centres, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) and the Jamaica-based Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI).In addition, PAHO partners with many Caribbean sub-regional entities, among them CARICOM and OECS Secretariats, the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), the Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC), and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). CAREC and CFNI are also supported by the countries themselves, and have recently undergone, with other CARICOM health institutions (the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute, CEHI; the Caribbean Health Research Council, CHRC; and the Caribbean Drug Research and Testing Laboratory, CDRTL), a review of their functioning and mandates.PAHO is an active partner in this process, working with the CARICOM Secretariat (CCS) to identify not only the mandates of the health institutions, but also the priorities for a revised Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH III) initiative and the roles and responsibilities of the OCPC, CAREC, and CFNI in addressing these priorities.

This process was preceded and complemented by the development of a strategic agenda for the organisation’s technical cooperation, with Barbados and the countries of the OECS, grouped together as the Eastern Caribbean Countries (ECC). The Eastern Caribbean Cooperation Strategy (ECCS) 2006-2009 was finalised in September 2005, and provides a framework for strengthening PAHO/WHO’s presence in the sub-region.At the same time, the Organisation is responding to UN reforms and to calls from major donors regarding the harmonisation and alignment of technical cooperation programmes in countries.

It is also working to align its planning and programming with the WHO 11th Global Programme of Work and the WHO Mid-term Strategic Plan 2008-2013. It has also started planning for the evaluation of the PAHO Strategic Plan 2003-2007 and the development of the 2008-2013 Strategic Plan.

PAHO PHOTO: (left to right) Hon. John Maginley, Minister of Health of Antigua and Barbuda; PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago; Hon. Ann David Antoine, Minister of Health of Grenada, and Minister of Health of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Rupert Emmanuel Herbert.

Copyright © 2005 By The Government Of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) & Nevis

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