Tourism and Health Program (THP)

The Caribbean economy is heavily dependent on tourism, which in turn is vulnerable to health, food safety and environmental sanitation (HSE) threats. The mission of the THP is to improve countries’ capacities to provide cost-effective and quality HSE solutions to threats impacting sustainable tourism. Components of this include:

  • 1. Web-based, real time, early alert monitoring systems for tourism based health issues,
  • 2. Training and certification in HSE to reduce prevalence of contaminated food and water, and
  • 3. Caribbean-wide tourism HSE standards.

Implementation of this program began in 2016 in select nations, with the aim to expand further across the Caribbean. Benefits of the enhanced capacity for tourism-linked surveillance and response include:

  • 1. Fewer, less costly outbreaks and other negative public health events,
  • 2. Healthier, safer destination accreditation,
  • 3. Enhanced quality, competitiveness and resilience of the tourism industry, and
  • 4. Improved regional health security.
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Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS)

The CRS helps CARPHA Member States (CMS) perform key pharmaceutical regulatory functions. It conducts verification reviews of product dossiers for the safety, quality and efficacy of essential medicines and vaccines, to ensure products are the same as approved in designated "reference authorities". It then recommends those favourably verified for marketing authorization in CMS on an accelerated timeline because many CMS lack the staff resources to do this on their own. In addition to accelerating access to quality products, another benefit of the CRS is that companies can work with one set of requirements and a streamlined processing time, rather than the fragmented range that exists across the Caribbean. The CRS also carries out pharmacovigilance and post market surveillance, including through the VigiCarib reporting platform and the CARPHA drug testing lab. Major partners of the CRS include PAHO and WHO.

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IARC Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub

In the Caribbean, cancer is the second leading cause of death. Based on International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates, mortality from cancer is projected to more than double by 2035 and new cases of cancer are expected to increase by more than two-thirds. The availability of reliable cancer data in the Caribbean region is limited. As of May 2018, less than 10 Caribbean countries have cancer registries, with less than half meeting international quality standards.

The mission of the IARC Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub is to improve the availability of high-quality reliable cancer data through standardized and strengthened collection and analysis. This will enable evidence-based decisions by governments and better inform national cancer control and prevention plans.

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Caribbean Region - Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (CR-FELTP)

The CR-FELTP provides a three-tiered core curriculum of competency-based training, consisting of both classroom and on the job learning. This will develop public health workforce capacity for surveillance systems strengthening, outbreak investigation and operational research, thereby increasing preparedness and response to priority public health issues. Potential benefits of the program include:

  • 1.  Improvements in surveillance data collection and management,
  • 2. Advanced generation of evidence based data on both communicable and non-communicable diseases to inform public health decision making and policy,
  • 3. Rapid, well-coordinated public health responses to disease outbreaks and other emergencies,
  • 4. Increased collaboration between epidemiology, laboratory and other public health units,
  • 5. Improved use of new and advanced laboratory technologies.
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