CARPHA Chikungunya Consultation




As host, we at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) are delighted to welcome participants to the Chikungunya Consultation.

We are acutely aware of the complex challenges posed by Chikungunya in the Caribbean region. Under the theme Meeting Today’s Challenge and Preparing for the Future, the Consultation will provide a valuable platform for key Caribbean and international stakeholders to share experiences, review currently available knowledge and, develop and reinforce the multisector collaborative efforts required to tackle Chikungunya and other mosquito borne diseases.

The conference presents a unique opportunity to position vector borne diseases as a high priority agenda, and will include sessions on: Surveillance and Outbreak Response; Entomological Surveillance, Control and Management; Clinical Care; Laboratory Services; Communication Strategies and Experience; Long-term Impact of Chikungunya; and Research and Innovation.

The Consultation is being organised by the Caribbean Public Health Agency and is funded by the European Union. 

We hope you have a pleasant stay in Trinidad and Tobago.


Aim and Objectives
Partners Forum
Guidelines for Speakers
Speaker Biographies
Conference Photos and Videos


Aim of the Consultation

The overall aim of the meeting is to bring together international experts, representing different fields of activity related to Chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases, and to support the Caribbean in its response to the Chikungunya epidemic and the growing challenge to health, social and economic systems.

Objectives of the Consultation

  • To review currently available knowledge
  • To learn from the experience of individuals, countries, areas, agencies and organisations
  • To identify, recommend and communicate actions based on the above
  • To develop and strengthen a multisector collaborative response to the challenges posed by Chikungunya in the Caribbean

The consultation aims to draw on participants’ knowledge and skills on a range of mosquito-borne diseases focusing on Chikungunya, including Dengue and Zika virus. To this end the sessions will be designed to be interactive and include presentations, discussions, and plenary sessions. This will provide a unique opportunity to renew efforts to position mosquito-borne diseases as a high priority in the public health agenda.



The agenda for CARPHA Chikungunya Consultation is available here.  


The Partners Forum will serve as an exceptional opportunity for a diverse array of development partners, academic institutions, international and, local organizations and private sector groups from around the region, together with government representatives and CARPHA staff to connect, and share knowledge with many of the most relevant actors in the field and to promote thinking around joint novel initiatives.

Follow these instructions to develop a successful presentation at the conference.

Guidelines for Presenters


Dr. Christian Frederickson

Dr. Frederickson completed his Masters degree in Pest Management at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby British Colombia and MPH and PhD at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore Maryland. From 1977 to 1982   he was employed as the Director of the Yukon Mosquito Control Program. From 1984 to 1986 he was employed as a PAHO Malaria Medical Entomologist Consultant at the Center for Malaria Research (CIP) in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico. From 1988-1990 he was employed again with PAHO as a Malaria Medical Entomologist Consultant in Guatemala City, Guatemala. From 1998 to 2013 he was employed as a PAHO Medical Entomologist in Brazil, Trinidad (with CAREC) and Cost Rica after which he retired from PAHO. He accepted a short term consultancy with CARPHA as a Medical Entomologist in 2014 to the present day.

Presentation Synopsis

Entomological Surveillance, Control and Management a Regional Perspective
National Vector control programmes need to more effective and efficient with the limited resources and manpower available. To do this they require a highly trained and motivated staff to conduct and evaluate their control activities, use of georeferenced databases for recording  entomological activities and epidemiological situations to focus timely control activities in priority areas and involve the public with well-organized public education campaigns such as 10 minutes once a week against dengue. 
A Brief Introduction on the Potential Use of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to control Aedes aegypti
The use of genetically modified mosquitoes for the control of Aedes aegypti has matured with initial field trials the Cayman Islands and Panama and ongoing and expanded evaluations in Brazil and proposed studies in the Florida Keys. General concepts on the feasibility, effectiveness and safety of this new methodology are discussed.  

Marina Sew-Atjon 

Marina Sew-Atjon, started at the Central Laboratory in 2014 as the Project Coordinator with a background in Biochemistry from the University of Exeter - UK. As of January 2015, she is also acting Head Bacteriology and Virology; the sub-departments are General Microbiology, Serology and Mycobacteria. Marina Sew-Atjon has been the laboratory focal point for Chikungunya from the start and was responsible for setting up the diagnostic testing in collaboration with ERASMUS MC – Netherlands.  As project coordinator, tasks include writing, planning and coordinating various other research activities at Central Laboratory including that into Hantavirus in Suriname, Histoplasmosis in HIV+ patients, training for Legionella diagnostic testing and Ebola preparedness to name a few. Currently studying for a Master’s degree in Biosafety at UWI – Barbados, and responsible for laboratory safety and biosafety at Central Laboratory as well. As acting Head various other responsibilities have been added to include overseeing quality control for the entire department.

Presentation Synopsis

Experience and Response of Suriname’s National Public Health Laboratory to Chikungunya
A brief overview is given on the current situation with regard to Chikungunya. The Medical Mission (MZ) and the Regional Health service (RGD) have started a syndromic surveillance (fever & arthritis). Many cases have not been confirmed by Laboratory testing, however in each new geographical area where Chikungunya has been signaled 5-10 patients have been laboratory confirmed. Several challenges faced in country and at the Central Laboratory are highlighted along with the solutions we employed.  Central Laboratory validates tests done by other laboratories as well as provide assistance to the various laboratories. Central Laboratory currently carries out both IgM and IgG IFA testing with plans to carry-out follow up research in patients 3-, 6-, and 9 months post diagnosis. PCR testing at Central Laboratory is also planned for the future.

Kimberly Holloway

Kimberly Holloway graduated with her B.Sc. Honors specialising in microbiology and a Master’s degree from the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Upon competition of her degrees she relocated to Winnipeg and was immediately employed at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health. She worked for a brief period for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before transferring over to the Public Health Agency of Canada, where she has been employed for the last 16 years in the Viral Zoonosis Laboratory.

Rajesh Ragoo

Rajesh Ragoo is a young scientist and PhD candidate at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus. His academic interest was always in medically related topics as well as the computer and technological fields of science. At an undergraduate level, he was able to publish research on endoparasites in toads in Trinidad. His MPhil. thesis was in Environmental Biology with specific focus on spatial epidemiology. This momentum extended to PhD work which involves GIS modelling of climate change on wetland biodiversity. He has lectured for several years at the UWI and at the College of Science Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago. His  career path has lead him to Insect Vector Control Division (Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago) where he currently work as a Medical Entomologist.  He hopes to bring about an exciting change to the approach to insect vector control in Trinidad and Tobago.

Presentation Synopsis

A Field Evaluation of the In2Care Semi-lethal Ovitrap for the Control of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Trinidad and Tobago

The In2Care semi-lethal ovitrap represents a novel approach to Aedes aegypti mosquito control by targeting both the adults and aquatic stages at the same time. Unlike traditional methods of vector control, it uses biological rather than chemical agents to circumvent the issues with insecticide resistance, with little to no associated environmental harm. In this study, 200 In2Care traps were deployed in the Madras community in Trinidad. The Las Lomas community was used as a control site. In2Care trap functionality and attractiveness were measured using field observations. Auto-dissemination was measured and compared with the control site. Also, absolute egg counts were measured using sentinel ovitraps. The results show a significant and sustained reduction in the Aedes aegypti population in the Madras community.

Leena Bekky Ramrattan
(B.Sc., M.Sc.)

Leena Ramrattan is a Researcher at the HEU, Centre for Health Economics at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. She holds a B.Sc. Economics with a minor in International Relations (2006) and an M.Sc. Economics (2011) from The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Her research interests lie primarily in the area of health economics more specifically, Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs).

Dr Paula Robertson
, MBBS, FRCPCH, MSc Child Health

Dr Robertson is a graduate of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI, and completed her undergraduate training and internship in Trinidad before moving to the UK. There she completed her postgraduate training, obtaining her Certificate of Specialist Training in Paediatrics in 2007, and an MSc in Child Health from the University of Warwick in December 2007. She worked as a consultant paediatrician in South London, UK for 6 years before relocating to Trinidad in 2013. She currently works as a consultant in the paediatric emergency department of Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Trinidad, and is also an examiner and associate UWI lecturer in the DM and Diploma programmes for Paediatrics and Emergency Medicine.

Presentation Synopsis

CHIKV in the young: our clinical experience
CHIKV is a relatively new Caribbean phenomenon, and a disease with varied presentations. Although common clinical manifestations in adults have been relatively well described in the literature, little is known about potential manifestations in younger children and infants. This presentation summarises the experience of the Paediatric Emergency Department at Eric Williams Sciences Complex following the emergence of CHIKV, and describes the clinical manifestations of CHIKV in young children less than 5 years of age, together with lessons learned.

Dr Avery Hinds

Dr. Avery Hinds is currently the Senior Technical Officer for Communicable Disease and Emergency Response at CARPHA, where he serves as the technical focal point for activities related to Ebola Virus Disease, Antimicrobial Resistance, HIV, Vaccine Preventable Diseases and routine communicable disease surveillance.  
Dr. Hinds completed his medical degree at the University of the West Indies and his Masters in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Emergency Medicine from UWI, St. Augustine.
Dr. Hinds previously worked in the Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago as a clinician, first at Hospital level then in primary care. After completing his Epidemiology training, he went on to work as a Regional Health Authority Epidemiologist and subsequently as the National Epidemiologist for T&T.  Dr. Hinds looks forward to the opportunity to work with Member States to fortify surveillance and response capacity.

Presentation Synopsis

The arrival and spread of Chikungunya through the Caribbean posed many challenges. Limitations in data received restricts the types of analyses and extrapolations that can be carried out with the data.  Concerted efforts and responses were launched on multiple fronts. CARPHA deployed response teams to more severely affected CMS; Laboratory capacity was built and networks leveraged to ensure adequate access to testing by CMS; communication and information sharing formed a significant part of the CARPHA response to member states. 

Potential ripple effects on travel industry cannot be ignored: travel advisories and other communications regarding CHIKV in the Caribbean can impact adversely our tourist product.

Dr Pablo Salazr

Dr Salazar was trained in Barcelona, Spain as a medical doctor and specialized in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases.  He recently joined CARPHA (October 2014) as the Head of the Virology Unit.

Presentation Synopsis

CARPHA Laboratory experience on the regional response to Chikungunya outbreak in the English and Dutch speaking Caribbean.  The presentation shares the experience of CARPHA laboratory in the Chikungunya outbreak in the Caribbean. A general idea of what are the results related to CHIKV diagnosis and the laboratory surveillance of CMS during 2014 is given. Main experienced challenges through this year as well as next steps for the CARPHA laboratory and the laboratory network of CMS is discussed.

Dr Babatunde Olowokure

Dr Babatunde Olowokure is the Director, Division of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control for the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) where he is responsible for managing and providing oversight and strategic direction to the activities of the Division. He has a broad background and training in paediatrics, epidemiology, public health, communicable diseases, emergency response, and environmental health. He has experience in global public health, and has worked in low, middle and upper income countries. Before joining CARPHA in 2013, he was the Team Leader of the Emerging Disease Surveillance and Response Team at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Consultation Overview

Chikungunya fever (CHIK) is an emerging, mosquito-borne disease caused by the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). The first case was identified in the Caribbean in December 2013, and CHIK has been a cause of concern because of the tourism dependent nature of the region, lack of progress in controlling the spread of the vector, and the increasing number of people with acute and chronic symptoms. The aim of this 3-day consultation is to bring together local, regional and international experts, representing different fields of activity related to chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases, and to support the Caribbean’s response to CHIKV. The consultation provides a unique opportunity to renew efforts to position mosquito-borne diseases as a high priority on the public health agenda as CHIK challenges health, social and economic systems. This presentation provides an overview of the consultation and the processes to be used to achieve the meeting objectives.



The meeting was organised by the Caribbean Public Health Agency and funded by the European Union

Conference Photos
Video Presentations
Videos:Feedback from participants

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