Caribbean healthcare cooperation underway

POSTED: 03/1/16 5:48 PM

St. Maarten – Dr. Virginia Asin Oostburg, Head of the Collective Preventive Services (CPS), attended the Caribbean regional consultation last week related to advancing the Caribbean cooperation in health to benefit the regional public good. The meeting took place at the Hilton Hotel in Trinidad and Tobago.

The initiative was adopted by Caricom health ministers in 1984 to optimize the use 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. The initiative has now reached its third phase that covers the period 2009-2015.

This phase 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 the next phase.

Chronic, non-communicable diseases are the number one cause of death and disability in the world, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

These diseases are 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 of these diseases can be prevented by reducing common risk factors such as smoking, drinking, physical inactivity and eating unhealthy diets, injuries and mental health disorders.

The five priority areas for the fourth phase 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.

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