Project: 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme of Support for Health System Strengthening for Prevention and Control of Outbreaks of Zika and other Mosquito-borne Diseases in the Caribbean:
Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases present a major threat to regional health security, contributing significantly to increased morbidity and mortality in Caribbean populations. The socio-economic cost is also high as CARPHA Member States (CMS) depend heavily on tourism as a major source of revenue. Against the backdrop of the Zika outbreak in 2016, the 103rd Session of the ACP Council of Ministers mandated that the European Union be engaged in order to provide an urgent response to the then critical situation facing the Caribbean Member States. A sum of €5,000,000 was allocated from the 11th EDF Intra-ACP Programme to support CARPHA in reducing the spread and impact of mosquito borne diseases. Of this amount, €700,000 was made available through the 10th EDF Financing Agreement for support to CARPHA and implemented as a Phase I of the intervention. The remaining €4,300,000 was programmed as a stand -alone Financing Agreement under the 11th EDF Intra-ACP Programme, that is, Phase II of this intervention. The latter is being implemented through a Grant Contract which was signed off and came into effect in December 2019.
While the threat from Zika is presently reduced, a major Dengue outbreak was of grave concern in the Caribbean Region during 2019, particularly due to the increase in mortality of severe Dengue cases. Such outbreaks reoccur in a cyclical nature every 3-5 years. There is also the ever-present threat of importation of new or ‘exotic’ arboviruses into the Caribbean, the precedent having been set by previous Zika and Chikungunya outbreaks in the region. Partnerships focusing on multisectoral strategies are therefore critical to strengthening the Region’s surveillance systems, equipping the public health workforce with the necessary skills to detect, respond and contain these public health threats, and educate the community at large on participatory approaches that can be undertaken to decrease mosquito vector populations in their local environs. The signing of this last Grant reinforces CARPHA’s existing relationship with the European Union, and supports the work of the Agency in Member States. The areas of collaboration are in line with CARPHA’s strategic priorities and will seek to improve the public health of the Caribbean by reducing the impact of illnesses associated with Zika and other mosquito borne diseases.
Additional information on this Project can be found here.