St K&N: Prime Minister Drew launches the CARPHA-COMISCA collaboration and cooperation
Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis and Lead Minister for Health for CARICOM, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, November 24, 2023 [Press Secretary, PMOSKN] – Today marked a significant milestone in Caribbean regional health initiatives as Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, in his capacity as the lead minister for Health in CARICOM, officially launched the CARPHA-COMISCA Collaboration and Cooperation. This groundbreaking collaboration signifies the formalization of a crucial health partnership between two pivotal regional organizations in the Caribbean.
Addressing the gathering virtually during the inauguration, Prime Minister Drew articulated, “It is my pleasure to represent our region as we launch the CARPHA-COMISCA Collaboration and Cooperation. This is a historic moment, as it marks the formalization of a health partnership between two important regional organizations in the Caribbean”.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is steadfast in its commitment to pursuing an inclusive ‘One Health’ approach, leveraging partnerships to combat health challenges and emergencies in the region. Its primary goal is to advance the collective priorities outlined in the Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV and the Sustainable Development Goals.
At the core of CARPHA’s strategy lies a comprehensive partnership policy delineating the organization’s vision, methodology, and requisites to foster collaboration. This policy aims to cultivate formal partnership relationships, addressing regional public health priorities and emergencies through unified action and shared services.
The Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA) serves as the regional forum for eight member countries: Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. It is dedicated to identifying and prioritizing regional health concerns.
The COMISCA Executive Secretariat (SE-COMISCA) acts as the governing body ensuring the implementation of the five-year Health Plan of Central America and the Dominican Republic. It coordinates year-round regional health activities and facilitates engagements with regional health officials.
Highlighting the history of collaboration between CARPHA and COMISCA, Prime Minister Drew emphasized, “CARPHA and COMISCA’s long history of working together on a number of issues, including health, education, and disaster management, can only strengthen this informal but successful collaboration. The CARPHA-COMISCA Collaboration and Cooperation will formalize this partnership and provide a framework for even greater collaboration in the future. This is important because the Caribbean faces a number of challenges, including climate change, chronic diseases, and non-communicable diseases.”
The collaboration signifies a concerted effort to address regional health challenges and ensure political support for strategic policies strengthening health systems. Dr. Drew affirmed that, “the political directorate” can be assured “that we will ensure the needed advocacy for strategic policies to strengthen our health systems through this collaboration”.
Commending the visionary leadership of CARPHA and COMISCA, Dr. Drew expressed confidence in the success of the partnership, envisioning a transformative impact on the region’s health landscape.
“I am confident that the CARPHA-COMISCA Collaboration and Cooperation will be a success. By working together, CARPHA and COMISCA can better address the challenges facing the Caribbean and improve the lives of all Caribbean people”, said Prime Minister Drew.