CARICOM leading charge against Chikungunya, Ebola threat

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THE Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continues to be at the forefront of efforts to deal with the Chikungunya epidemic and the Ebola threat.

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Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque held discussions on the weekend with representatives of the governments of Brazil and Argentina on assistance for the Region, particularly in the fight against Chikungunya.

The discussions with the Brazil’s Vice-Minister for Health Mr. Jarbas Barbosa have led to an invitation for a team from the CARICOM Secretariat, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to visit Brazil to further discuss specific areas of support against Chikungunya in the first instance. Argentina will visit the Region shortly as it builds on ongoing support for the health sector.

The discussions with the Brazilians as well as with the Director of PAHO and the Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) also centred on CARICOM Member States complying with International Health Regulations, which help prepare countries for dealing with health crises such as the Ebola threat. It was agreed that capacity-building assistance was required across Member States.

The engagements took place on the sidelines of meetings of CARICOM Health Ministers and the Pan American Health Organization in Washington DC on September 28-29, 2014.