Local health official attends Regional Public Health Consultation on Chikungunya

A representative from Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), Maria Henry, travelled to Trinidad & Tobago in the first week of March where she took part in a Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Consultation on Chikungunya in the Caribbean.


The forum was held under the theme: “Chikungunya in the Caribbean: Meeting Today’s Challenge and Preparing for the Future.”


The objective of the meeting was to review currently available knowledge, and build a shared understanding of the Chikungunya situation in the Caribbean.


Secondly, to learn from the experience of individuals, countries, agencies, and organizations and identify opportunities to mitigate the challenges posed by Chikungunya.


Thirdly, to identify, recommend, and communicate actions based on the above; and to develop and strengthen a multi-sector collaborative response to the challenges posed by Chikungunya in the Caribbean.


Up to February 2015, there are more than 800,000 suspected cases in the Caribbean and Latin America.  The chikungunya virus emerged in the Caribbean back in 2013.


The impact on health and the economies of the Region CARPHA described as considerable, especially as a significant proportion of persons affected have long-term complications of joint pain and impairment of function.


Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.


The consultation brought together international health experts from across the Region, as well as other parts of the world, representing different fields of activity related to Chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases.


The aim of the meeting was to support the Caribbean in its response to the Chikungunya epidemic and the growing challenge to health, social and economic systems.


The topics addressed included the Long Term Impact of Chikungunya, Surveillance and Outbreak Response, Entomological Surveillance, Control and Management, Clinical Care and Services, Laboratory Services, Research and Innovation, and Communication Strategies and Experiences.


The consultation was funded by the European Union, and took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad.