The creation of the new Caribbean Public Health Agency' (CARPHA) was approved by the Caribbean Heads of Government in March 2010. CARPHA will replace and build on the work of the Caribbean Community’s five Regional Health Institutions (RHIs), following a phased transition period commencing in December 2010 and proposed to end in 2014. The RHI's are: Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), the Caribbean Health Research Centre (CHRC) and the Caribbean Research and Drug Treatment Laboratory (CRDTL). It is expected that the new agency will be headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago.

CARPHA's purpose is to draw together and build on public health knowledge and expertise across the Caribbean, preventing duplication of effort and resources. This will facilitate a coordinated approach to public health issues including managing the risk of disease outbreaks in the Caribbean region. The work to transition from the existing RHIs' to the fully implementation of CARPHA is being supported by CARICOM and PAHO/WHO. According to the CARICOM site CARPHA has two aspects to its mission: Firstly the provision of strategic direction in analysing, defining and responding to public health priorities of the member countries so as to prevent disease, promote health and to respond to public health emergencies;Secondly to act as a key entity in providing for solidarity in health of the region. In short CARPHA intends to build on the successes achieved by the disease model, by taking people-centred approach to Public Health. The objectives of CARPHA are as follows:

  1. To provide countries with reference and referral services as well as laboratory strengthening.
  2. To conduct surveillance of both communicable and non-communicable diseases.
  3. To provide leadership in defining effective public health interventions in the Caribbean.
  4. To provide, accurate reliable timely and relevant public health information to various Caribbean and international audiences.
  5. To coordinate effective responses to public health crises in the Caribbean.
  6. To enhance national capacities to deliver public health goods and services to public health priorities in the Caribbean.
  7. To mobilise resources for priority public health issues.

CARPHA has been officially launched at a partners conference 14 June 2010 and at the Global Health Forum on 16 June of the same year.


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