Martinique, 23 November 2021. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Martinique from November 15 to 19, 2021 with a focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the context of technical cooperation. This activity was implemented in close collaboration with and support of the Agence Régionale de Santé (ARS) the Regional Health Agency, in Martinique. The mission was funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
The high prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure and other NCDs, as well as risk factors for these diseases, are of public health concern for the Caribbean region. As a culmination of a series of exploratory discussions between CARPHA and the ARS Martinique with the support of AFD, the purpose of this mission was to meet with clinical and public health professionals in Martinique, responsible for NCDs management and surveillance and explore further opportunities for technical cooperation.
During the mission, on November 16, 2021, the CARPHA technical team participated in the French West Indies Conference on Diabetes 2021 (les Rencontres Antillaises de Diabétologie) convened by Kéwalé, and gave a presentation on the CARPHA Guidelines for Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean. This forum constituted a significant opportunity for exchanges and insight into the similarities and differences between the English- and French- speaking Caribbean clinical practices for prevention, screening, treatment and support of persons at risk for, or living with diabetes. The delegation was also able to engage with patient support stakeholders - Regional Authority for Education and Health Promotion (IREPS) and the Association Française des diabétiques – a key group in NCD management and control.
The team met with the Prevention Department of the ARS, with whom they participated in a site visit, technical discussions and a webinar on Diabetes and Chronic Diseases. The delegation then held discussions with the Research Directorate of the University Hospital of Martinique (CHUM), as a follow-up to the participation of the French public health institutions in the CARPHA Annual Health Research Conference held in June 2021 (also supported by the AFD). The lead Caribbean focal point of the French public health agency (Santé Publique France) engaged the CARPHA team with a review of the French NCD surveillance system, which will inform the CARPHA development of a regional NCD surveillance system for Member States, an exercise supported by the AFD.
A courtesy visit was also made to the Regional Office of the AFD in Martinique. The AFD continues to support the deepening of technical cooperation between CARPHA and public health institutions and authorities in the French West Indies.
Through funding from the AFD, CARPHA is leading the Region in strengthening strategic intelligence and partnership approaches to prevent and control NCDs and strengthen regional health security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.
More information on the AFD Project can be found at: https://bit.ly/3xPENOT