Castries, Saint Lucia, September 04, 2014. The Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), is launching the Caribbean Regional Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (CR-FELTP) in Saint Lucia on September 8, 2014. Saint Lucia is the sixth country to implement this programme in 2014, joining Barbados, Suriname, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Bahamas. The CR-FELTP is an applied, real-world training programme to build epidemiology and laboratory capacity, to strengthen public health systems and infrastructure to address current and future public health needs in the Caribbean region. The programme has a Caribbean context, is competency- based, and needs-driven. It will address priority public health issues in the Caribbean, including both communicable and non-communicable diseases and conditions; public health threats; and laboratory surveillance. The CR-FELTP will train public health practitioners at different levels, and is modelled after many successful global programmes. Participants of the CR-FELTP will develop their skills and acquire new tools to respond to current and emerging public health challenges in the Caribbean. The CR-FELTP Level I training is five months in duration and will extend from September 8, 2014 to January 31, 2014. Dr Sharon Belmar-George, Coordinator for Saint Lucia, and Ms Lisa Hansen, CR-FELTP Programme Coordinator with CARPHA, will welcome ten Trainees to CR-FELTP Level I orientation and programme launch at the Auberge Seraphine Hotel. These public health professionals from health care institutions in Saint Lucia will be participating under the guidance of 6 mentors, and will receive classroom and project-based learning in 9 core subject areas. The Ministry of Health is grateful for the support of the Caribbean Public Health Agency, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pan American Health Organization and the University of the West Indies in the development of the CR-FELTP in the Region. For further information, contact Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, Senior Medical Officer, Ministry of Health at 468-5310/285-1260.