Successful Caribbean-Brazil Cooperation Talks at CARPHA Headquarters

The Brazilian government through its Ministry of Health, is in discussions with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), on ways they can work together to strengthen the Region’s capacity to deal with public health issues. 

The Chikungunya epidemic in the Caribbean and the threat of the Ebola virus disease are two major concerns being addressed in this collaboration.  In an effort to assist the Caribbean with their prevention and preparedness strategies, the collaboration would focus on the support needed for the operationalization of the CARPHA biosafety level 3 laboratory.

In November of 2014, a team from CARPHA/CARICOM lead by Dr Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development of CARICOM, visited Brasilia, Brazil for discussions on the Caribbean and Brazilian responses to the epidemic of Chikungunya and the threat of Ebola. An immediate return visit has been paid by a Brazilian delegation (December 17-18, 2014) to CARPHA to move forward with the cooperation.

Dr Cristina Gutierrez, Director, Laboratory Services and Networks at CARPHA sees this collaboration as “a positive development in ensuring that the Region has and sustains the needed capacity to deal with public health challenges it may face.” The meeting addressed the provision of technical support to strengthen CARPHA’s capacity to respond to laboratory testing needs of Member States for Ebola and other high risk pathogens.  It also looked at the timeline for other programmatic areas of co-operation to strengthen responses to other public health priorities in the Caribbean.  Discussions were concluded with the definition of a project management framework and of the mechanisms for the implementation of the programme of co-operation.

Mr Luciano Avila Queiroz, Head of the Brazilian delegation, commented, “I am very happy with the results of the visit as the delegation is returning home with some concrete results. The next steps will be signing the Memorandum of Intent and starting cooperation arrangement in 2015.”

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