January 27, 2012 — The Caribbean Tourism Organization will be partnering with the recently formed Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which started its operations this month.
Some of the areas of collaborations will include using CARPHA’s information and communications system to increase the awareness about the agency and its public health agenda for the Region. The two organisations will also join forces to reduce the threats of health and environmental threats for the sustainability of healthy tourism and supporting CARPHA’s surveillance programme.
The specific activities to be promoted are accurate and timely information on trends and health risks, disease prevention and control, detection of and response to health emergencies and establishing standards for managing and monitoring information and international health regulations.
The decisions were taken at Council of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, held during the Market Place Conference in Nassau, The Bahamas on 22 January.
CARPHA which already has attracted a wide range of partners in Canada, UK, the European Union, USA and Brazil, has received an undertaking from the CTO of its willingness to be engaged in training and capacity building for workers in the tourism sector in the areas of food safety, environmental management and monitoring and promoting the Wellness Revolution in the Caribbean.
Dr. Jerome Walcott, former Minister of Health, Barbados is the interim director of the agency, till a new director is appointed by June 2012.It was agreed that Hugh Riley, CTO President will represent the organisation on CARPHA Executive Board.
CARICOM Heads of Government ratified CARPHA by signing the inter-Governmental Agreement in July 2011 making the agency a legal entity.
Ricky Skerrit, minister of tourism St Kitts/ Nevis Chair of the CTO Council, said, “this is a bold step to create a viable public health agency that would no doubt be of great benefit to the people of the region and in particular to those in the tourism business.”