GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Dr. Virginia Asin Oostburg, Head of the Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, last week attended the Caribbean Regional Consultation related to advancing the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH) to Benefit the Regional Public Good: Review of the CCH III and Strategic Planning for CCH IV.
The CCH initiative was developed within the framework of functional cooperation. It was adopted by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Health Ministers in 1984 to optimize the utilization of resources, promote technical cooperation among member countries, and to develop and secure funding for the implementation of projects in priority health areas.
The concept promotes collective and collaborative action to solve critical health problems best addressed through a regional approach, rather than by individual country action. The initiative was approved by CARICOM Heads of Government in 1986 when CCH I was launched. The initiative has now reached Phase III which covers the period 2009-2015.
CCH Phase III has focused on people-centered development; user involvement and participating; leadership in public health coordinated across the region; outcome oriented planning, delivery and evaluation; stable resourcing for health and social protection for the people of the sub-region.
Dr. Asin stated that the goal of the consultation was continued improvement in the health and wellbeing of the Caribbean people, with the purpose of identifying the way forward for the development of CCH IV.
Chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the number one cause of death and disability in the world, according to the Pan American Health Organization.
The term NCDs refers to a group of conditions that are not mainly caused by an acute infection, result in long-term health consequences and often create a need for long-term treatment and care.
These conditions include cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic lung illnesses. Many NCDs can be prevented by reducing common risk factors such as tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, physical inactivity, and eating unhealthy diets. Many other important conditions are also considered as NCDs, including injuries and mental health disorders.
The five priority areas identified for the CCH IV are: Health systems for Universal Health Coverage; Safe, resilient, healthy environments; Health and well-being of Caribbean people throughout the life course; Data and evidence for decision-making and accountability; and partnership and resource mobilization for health.
The follow-up consultation meeting will allow partners and stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on the draft planning for the CCH IV “Advancing the Caribbean Cooperation in Health: Partners’ Perspectives on the Way Forward.”
All delegates from the various stakeholders present concluded that they will discuss the next steps for the formulation of CCH IV using the roadmap between now and December 1, 2016. This will take place via the consultation process, identification and development of implementation tools and indicative timelines and deadlines.
The consultation was organized under the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, Caribbean Public Health Agency and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The meeting took place at the Trinidad Hilton Hotel, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Group picture of participants at the consultation in Trinidad and Tobago.