Caribbean Public Health Agency Rep Arrives to Assess Mosquito Prevention Control Program

Karen Polson, Entomologist/Parasitologist for the Mosquito Control Program of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), arrives in the country on Monday for a working visit with representatives of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour. 

CARPHA is the new single regional public health agency for the Caribbean. It was legally established in July 2011 by an Inter-Governmental Agreement signed by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States and began operation in January 2013.

The purpose of the working visit by Polson is to assess the country’s Mosquito Control Program structure and operation. Some field observations are also planned.

On Tuesday, Polson will meet with Collective Prevention Services (CPS) staff as well as the Dengue Action Response Team (DART). Dr. Polson will also pay a courtesy visit to Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever.

Minister De Weever stated on Sunday that Sint Maarten’s cooperation with this new entity – CARPHA – is extremely important where it concerns regional reporting, funding and networking.

Dr. Polson on Tuesday evening will meet with physicians with respect to dengue and chikungunya with respect to diagnosis, treatment, reporting and monitoring.

On Wednesday there will be a Risk Management workshop on dengue and chikungunya and on Thursday field work/assessment.

Polson has a PHD in Zoology from the University of the West Indies. Dr. Polson as a guest researcher has been involved in international fieldwork with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and with the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.