CARICOM Heads of Government originally established the Regional Coordinating Mechanism for Ebola (RCME) as part of the multilateral and multi-sectoral response to the possible introduction of the Ebola virus in the region in 2014. At the 2015 meeting of the RCME, it was agreed to extend the scope of the mechanism to facilitate the strengthening of the region’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to a broader range of infectious disease threats, in line with the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) framework. As a result, the RCME morphed into the Regional Coordinating Mechanism for Health Security (RCMHS).
The purpose of the RCMHS is to facilitate and enhance coordination of multistakeholder engagement and action across sectors at the local, national, and regional levels, with the support of international partners, in order to contribute to the implementation of the Caribbean Region Global Health Security Agenda Roadmap – a five-year planning tool that identifys goals for regional health security capacity-building to enable the region’s preparedness, response and containment of public health threats.
This mechanism, chaired by CARPHA, brings together representatives of CARPHA Member States and Associates / other Caribbean States and Territories, regional and international health security-relevant organisations, and development partners, to monitor threats to regional health security, facilitate information-sharing, and mobilise technical guidance and support to protect the health security in the Caribbean. This integrated approach is necessary to realize any success in a region of small, interconnected countries and territories.