Caribbean countries are currently facing a number of public health challenges: the development of chronic diseases, aging populations, and extreme exposure to the effects of climate change. CARPHA, an organization comprised of various public health agencies from the 26 Member States belonging to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), is ramping up regional cooperation efforts with a view to establishing and steering public health policy and pooling technical resources.
France only has observer status within CARICOM, however, various organizations based in its Atlantic territories have specific expertise in the field, such as the Regional Health Agency, Santé Publique France, the Pasteur Institute, and so on. It would therefore be beneficial to increase cooperation between these institutions and CARPHA, through information-sharing and the coordination of regional public health policy, particularly as these French territories are exposed to the same health issues as their neighbors.
The aim of this grant is to build the capacity and improve the functioning of the regional health security coordination mechanism, overseen by CARPHA, while expanding its partnership network, particularly across these French territories. It will also involve building the capacity of CARPHA members in the development and implementation of public health policy and programs designed specifically for the Caribbean region.
Increasing the availability and use of data on chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes and hypertension, and their impact on social protection systems, is the key to achieving this goal.
In response to the health crisis, a sum of €30,000 has been set aside specifically to build capacity of the CARPHA medical microbiology laboratory and to purchase a PCR sequencer. The European Union has also awarded an €800,000 grant to ensure more effective use of the data generated by electronic public health surveillance systems in Caribbean countries.
The purpose of this program is to improve the health of communities in Caribbean territories and to increase their resilience to climate change. CARPHA's capacity-building will help its members to achieve these goals, and more specifically, to develop knowledge and decision-support tools related to non-communicable diseases.
It is therefore important to consolidate partnership and cooperation skills among public health institutions and organizations in French Atlantic territories in order to strengthen health security mechanisms and increase the sharing of data and expertise at regional level.
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