CTO News

Archive for August, 2018

CARPHA Concludes Risk of Getting Zika in the Caribbean Low at this Time

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, August 13, 2018:  The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has concluded that Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean Region has been interrupted, and that the risk to residents and visitors to the Region of acquiring Zika is low. This follows a review by CARPHA of the data of the last 30 months pertinent to the situation.

Zika Virus (ZIKV) was first detected in the Caribbean Region in late 2015. The number of cases increased in the first half of 2016 and reached its peak circulation in August 2016, and then declined rapidly by December 2016.

Before, during and after the introduction of the virus, CARPHA has been conducting surveillance and laboratory testing activity for ZIKV and has worked assiduously with its 26 CARPHA Member States (CMS) and partners to strengthen the ability to detect and diagnose cases; to enhance the capacity to reduce transmission of this and other vector-borne diseases; and to improve coordination and use of information for prevention.

At this time, ongoing surveillance and laboratory testing in CMS indicate that the epidemic circulation of ZIKV has been interrupted in Caribbean territories. This is based on congruency of data available from several sources and on experience of previous outbreaks of mosquito-borne viral diseases in the Region:

  • Local surveillance in Member States has demonstrated both a decrease in general fever-related illness as well as a specific absence of ZIKV reports over the past year.
  • CARPHA Regional Laboratory continues to test samples for mosquito-borne disease, including ZIKV, Dengue virus (DENV) and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). These tests have shown the drastic decrease from the peak of ZIKV circulation in 2016 to a situation where no cases of ZIKV have been confirmed among samples received from any CMS over the past 12 months
  • CARPHA has reached out to international public health agencies, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the European Centres for Disease Control (eCDC), for information on cases of ZIKV in travelers returning from the Caribbean to Canada and Europe respectively. The data shared indicate a similar pattern to that seen in our regional data – a drastic decrease from a high-point in 2016, to sporadic cases in the immediate aftermath and no cases this year.

CARPHA advises that there is still a need to be vigilant given the ongoing risk for dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases.  The Agency maintains continuous vigilance of health and disease trends and risks for residents and visitors in the Region.

We continue to work closely with other public health partners including US CDC, PAHO/WHO, tourism organizations public health agencies in Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union to find innovative ways of mosquito control including behavior change communication and research.

Working alongside CMS we will support vector control activities and educate the public to protect the health of all within their borders. There is a need to strengthen surveillance in member states, set up registries for babies affected in the 2016 epidemic, enhance laboratory testing capacity, document the findings of countries to ensure evidence-based policy and practice and to look at ways to deal with climate-sensitive, mosquito-borne diseases

As we work towards the elimination of the vector and their breeding sites CARPHA encourages visitors and residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellents, wearing protective clothing and staying in screened or air conditioning accommodations.

For further information on Zika, you may visit the CARPHA website at http://carpha.org/

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, ZIKA

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CTO Statement on the Passing of William ‘Bill’ Howard, President, West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (13 August, 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) expresses its sadness at the sudden passing of William ‘Bill’ Howard, the president of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA).

Bill was a dedicated servant of the Caribbean American community and was committed to the continued development of the West Indian Day Carnival as an avenue to transmit the excitement of the Caribbean to millions of participants and viewers in the United States and beyond, provide a nostalgic and creative outlet for members of the Caribbean Diaspora – and those who travel from the region to be part of this spectacle – and advertise our carnivals and festivals in the Caribbean. We greatly appreciated Bill’s commitment to enhancing the cultural, educational and leadership opportunities for Caribbean people.

Under his leadership the CTO and WIADCA established a productive working relationship which we will continue to nurture in his memory.

On behalf of the Chairman and the Council of Ministers, the Board of Directors, Staff and entire membership of the CTO, we offer condolences to Bill’s family and loved ones, and to WIADCA, the organisation to which he devoted his considerable talent and expertise. His contribution will be sorely missed. Our prayers are with his family at this difficult time.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog

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CTO presents Dr. Roy Hastick, Sr., with its Distinguished Citizen Award

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (4 August 2018) – Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) presented its “Distiguished Caribbean Citizen Award” to Dr. Roy A. Hastick, Sr., president and CEO of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), during a recent CACCI small business development power breakfast meeting. The honour is part of CTO’s Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards given annually during Caribbean Week New York festivities.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization recognises Dr. Roy Hastick for his longstanding commitment to representing the interests of Caribbean people at the New York City and State levels,” said Riley (pictured on the right in the photo). “His steadfast endeavours to strengthen commercial links between the Caribbean and the region’s Diaspora are particularly worthy of commendation and for that reason we have bestowed the Distinguished Caribbean Citizen Award on him.”

“I am excited and thrilled to receive the Distinguished Caribbean Citizen Award from the Caribbean Tourism Organization, a prestigious association that promotes tourism in the region throughout the world,” said Hastick (pictured on the left in the photo). “For over 33 years CACCI has been promoting trade, investment and tourism between the United States and the Caribbean as well as helping thousands of small businesses in the New York metropolitan area survive and thrive.”

Hastick was born in Grenada and migrated to the U.S. in 1972 and worked for several years as an administrator, community advocate, entrepreneur and newspaper publisher. Through his involvement with organisations in the Borough of Brooklyn, Hastick recognised the need for the Caribbean community to unify in support of one another in order to improve the quality of life for everyone. As a result of his work in the small business community, Hastick was appointed Honorary Brooklyn Ambassador by Brooklyn Borough president Eric L. Adams.

As president and CEO of CACCI, he has helped grow the statewide membership organization to over 1,700 and provides expertise in providing business assistance to small start-up and emerging businesses in areas of business planning, financing, procurement, preparation for certification and business expansion, tourism and export/import opportunities.

CACCI’s extensive track record of service delivery includes sponsoring over 600 business networking meetings and establishing partnerships with US government and private business entities. Over the years, CACCI has sponsored numerous trade missions to the Caribbean, convened business meetings and held briefing sessions on behalf of several Caribbean Heads of State including Prime Ministers of Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Barbados, Haiti, Dominica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Chief Minister of Montserrat.

In August 2017, the CTO and CACCI formalised a cooperation strategy between the two organizations to enhance the level of engagement with the Caribbean Diaspora and to strengthen relationships with entities serving the people of the Caribbean.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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