September 26, 2020

Greetings by the CMO at the 12th Meeting for Caribbean National Epidemiologists and Laboratory Directors


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September 17, 2014:

The following speech is from the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Colin Furlone on behalf of the Minister of Health at the Caribbean Public Health Agency () Meeting for Caribbean Epidemiologists and Laboratory Directors at the Hyatt Regency- Port of Spain Ballroom on Wednesday 17 September, 2014.

  • Dr. Bernadette Theodore- Ghandi, Country Representative PAHO/WHO
  • Dr. Babatunde and other Directors at CARPHA
  • Senior Epidemiologists and Lab Directors
  • Specially Invited Guests
  • Members of the Media
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Fuad Khan I greet you all this morning.

In 1977 the World Health Assembly in collaboration with the decided that by the year 2000 the world over should have achieved “Health for All”; a level of health that would permit a socially and economically productive life. As you may all agree, we may well have missed that boat.

The reason being of course is that although “Health for All” are three simple words, they encompass a “world” of responsibilities. But we all recognize that for “Health for All” to be achieved the fields of Surveillance and Laboratory services, like other aspects of public healthcare, are essential and critical.

Trinidad and Tobago therefore welcomes this conference to our shores and thanks CARPHA for hosting and arranging. Trinidad and Tobago recognizes the role of CARPHA in promoting

improved healthcare through “Caribbean solidarity and highlighting urgent health needs and issues.” These unseen threats may of course be acute, as we all know, such as in recent and present time Chikungunya and Ebola; or they may be endemic diseases like Dengue; or thye may be chronic ongoing issues such as violence and injury, climate change and of course the Non- Communicable Diseases, which accounts as you may know for two thirds of mortality in Trinidad and Tobago many of which are preventable and premature.

The regional solidarity of which , and now CARPHA, are so proud of, speaks to sharing all aspects of expertise, services, data and even infrastructure. In that light, CARPHA and our fellow CARICOM countries, must recognize Trinidad and Tobago’s contributions in terms of real estate namely the old site (now being utilized as CARPHA), and the proposed site at Valsayn in Trinidad and Tobago.

I note from your agenda, the wide range of subject areas which are to be covered from Health Security to Health Tourism; from Surveillance and Data Collection, to Drug Testing Laboratory; from Monitoring and Evaluation to Anti- Microbial Resistance. The challenges for you, and the challenges for all of us, Health Ministers, Health Administrators, Health Service providers are how do we translate the benefits of this meeting, and other similar meetings, to implementable and achievable plans with outcomes, and timelines defined.

The Minister expects these implementable and achievable plans are a major objective of this meeting. Once again, on behalf of the Minister, I congratulate you on your efforts thus far, and wish you productive and successful outcomes of the 12th Meeting of the Caribbean National Epidemiologist and Laboratory Directors.

Thank you all very much. Do have a splendid meeting and we hope that we can be successful in all that we do, recognizing of course the success we’ve already achieved.

Thank you.


Caption: (L-R) Ms.Carlon Kirton, Dr. Barbatunde Olowokure, Dr. Colin Furlonge, Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi and another Speaker at the head table at the 12th Meeting of Caribbean National Epidemiologists and Laboratory Directors. (GISL Photographer)


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