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CARPHA Receives Support to Further Strengthen its Capacity to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Emerging and Re-emerging Threats

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#June 27, 2022 – CARICOM Member States are poised to benefit from a fund to strengthen health systems to prevent, control and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other emerging and re-emerging threats. The fund will also support the generation of evidence and information to inform decision-making on the management of public health priorities and emergencies and disease control programmes and policies.

Financing for the project “Health Systems Strengthening for CARICOM Member States to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Emerging and Re-emerging Threats” is provided by the Kingdom of Spain through the Joint Fund for CARICOM-Spain Scientific and Technical Cooperation, through the CARICOM Secretariat. Under this grant valued at US$1,189,247.00, CARPHA will be able to execute a series of interventions to the benefit of its Member States.

The launch of the project took place on 9 June 2022, at the headquarters of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

Dr. St. John expressed her gratitude to the Kingdom of Spain for the support, stating “We at CARPHA are pleased to have been entrusted with the management of these resources for the benefit of our Member States. Through these resources, CARPHA will develop a Caribbean COVID-19 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and establish a regional COVID-19 data repository.  The desired outcome of this intervention is to have Member States utilize data from the COVID-19 repository to inform decision-making at the national level.”

The project also enables the procurement and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment, equipment and supplies for testing including reagents and supplies to conduct whole genome sequencing, COVID-19 test kits and supporting reagents, PCR automatic sample extraction equipment and transportation, and shipping of laboratory specimens to CARPHA for testing to support ongoing laboratory surveillance and outbreak support for COVID-19 and other emerging and re-emerging threats.

In 1999, relations between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Kingdom of Spain were strengthened through the Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation following the First CARICOM-Spain Summit held in Trinidad and Tobago. The Kingdom of Spain is a longstanding partner and continues to give its support to the Community’s efforts including health, industry, agriculture, fisheries, tourism, education and culture, teaching of Spanish, training of diplomats, and scientific and technological research.

Dr. Douglas Slater Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, CARICOM, remarked “The Community recognizes with gratitude the contribution of the Government of Spain. This project is timely, as the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly weakened already fragile health systems across the region.  The pandemic has taught us that we must consider the redesign of our health systems, to make them resilient to future pandemics and other disease outbreaks.  Dr. Slater speaking on behalf of Dr. Carla Barnett, CARICOM Secretary General, further stated “To achieve this, we must focus on expanding the pool of trained health personnel; developing digital health systems; building capacity for vaccine development and regulation within the region and building health systems around primary health and community-based care models linked to centres of excellence.  We as a region cannot achieve them alone. Partnerships like that with Spain are critical to facilitate achievement of these goals.”

In his remarks, His Excellency Fernando Nogales, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago stated that strengthening of health systems was critical to maintaining the trust and confidence that the Region has earned as a safe tourism destination. His Excellency reaffirmed that the Kingdom of Spain is very keenly aware of the specific needs of the Caribbean region and stands ready to provide support to projects such as this that will have a clear human development impact. The Spain-CARICOM Project will aim to ensure that decision-makers are provided with timely and accurate information to guide data-driven public health interventions.

Speaking at the ceremony Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roshan Parasram brought remarks on behalf of the Honourable Terrance Deyalsingh, Minister of Health Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  Strong healthcare systems bolster not only the supply and delivery of quality healthcare to CARICOM residents and citizens but can curb the potential detrimental and irrevocable effects of current and future pandemics. Strengthening CARICOM’s health systems against COVID-19 and other emerging and re-emerging threats should not be a choice but a priority. The pandemic has reiterated that health security cannot be seen as a cost, but rather a continuous investment necessary for stability and sustainability.

During the 2 year project, CARPHA will develop an integrated digital Monitoring and Evaluation platform and repository to improve monitoring of regional and international health objectives such as, Caribbean Cooperation in Health Four (CCH-IV) and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing, for CARICOM Member States.   Resources procured through the Project have already been used to provide laboratory diagnostic testing services to Member States.

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Paid internship opportunity in Energy Data Collection,  Application DEADLINE is April 19

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April 19, 2024 – The Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) in cooperation with the Energy and Utilities Department (EUD), Ministry of Public Safety and Utilities (MPSU), is looking for a motivated intern to work in close collaboration with regional and national institutions to survey and collect energy-related data that will be used to create the Energy Report Cards (ERCs) for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A stipend for the intern will be provided by CCREEE.

The intern will be based at the EUD/MPSU. The internship program will provide students and/or young professionals with a unique opportunity to work with the energy sector institutions and stakeholders in TCI, gain practical experience in the energy sector, and contribute to the knowledge management functions of the Regional Energy Information System within the CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH).

SCOPE OF WORK

The CCREEE in collaboration with the EUD/MPSU will collect specified data and information that will be used to develop the TCI Energy Report Cards which will be made accessible through the CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH). The hub may be accessed by registering at https://cekh.ccreee.org. The Energy Report Cards will also offer important support to the CCREEE work program, including support for energy planning and the development of sustainable energy projects.

DESIRED PROFILE

  • Bachelor’s degree or on course for completion of one by December 2024.
  • Interest in the energy sector and willingness to learn about the socio-economic, technical and environmental aspects of the energy landscape; studies in sustainable energy, environmental sciences or related fields are an asset but not a National or resident of one of the relevant countries.
  • Proficiency in English.

INTERNSHIP TIMEFRAME

The internship will run for a period of eight (8) weeks from May 27 to July 19, 2024.

APPLICATION

The intern applicant should send their application (motivation letter and CV) on or before April 19, 2024 to recruitment@ccreee.org and copy eud@gov.tc.

 Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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Earth Day 2024: Planet vs Plastics – A Call to Action for Reducing Plastic Waste

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As Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, the DECR is rallying the community to join the global movement towards reducing plastic waste and safeguarding our planet’s future.

Plastic pollution remains one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, threatening the health of our oceans, wildlife, and ecosystems. With an estimated 8 million tons of plastic entering our oceans every year, the need for action has never been more urgent.

This Earth Day, the DECR urges you to take meaningful steps towards reducing plastic consumption and waste. From single-use plastics like straws and bags to microplastics that infiltrate our ocean and food chain, every piece of plastic avoided makes a difference.

By embracing reusable alternatives, recycling responsibly, and advocating for policies that prioritize sustainability, we can all play a role in mitigating the plastic crisis. Together, we can create a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations.

Join us this Earth Day in committing to reduce plastic waste and protect our precious environment. Together, we can make a difference.

Tune into the DECR’s social media by following us on Instagram @DECR_TCI or on Facebook at DECR Environmental Education & Outreach Group.

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Senior Teacher Endorses Robot to Assist in Educating Infant and Primary School Students

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KINGSTON, April 17 (JIS):
Senior Teacher at Alpha Infant School, Sabrina Raymond-Hunter, has endorsed the ‘ICHEETAH’ robot, a smart educational AI-powered tool that will advance the way young children learn and interact with technology.
The robot, developed by CHEETAH Toys and More, LLC, is designed to engage and educate children at the infant and early-primary levels of education in a fun and interactive manner, supporting their cognitive development and preparing them for future academic success.
Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on April 16, Mrs. Raymond-Hunter recognised the potential of this cutting-edge technology and its ability to enhance the learning experience for young children.
“I am really excited about this product. I was able to get this into my classroom of 23 students and they are super excited about this. We have had it for three weeks and this is a game changer,” she said.
The Senior Teacher, who also serves as the school’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Designate, added that the students’ learning has been enhanced since incorporating the technology into her teaching.
“It has enhanced it a lot because you know the boys, especially, once they are happy and find something that is fun, they will want to do it. My boys started off a little bit rocky, but since they got this robot, they are spelling, identifying words and reading,” she noted.
Having yielded positive results from utilising the technology, Mrs. Raymond-Hunter is encouraging other schools who are not yet on board to do so.
“I’m encouraging all the other schools to get on board, and if for any reason you need a demonstration, come to Alpha. I’ll show you exactly how we use it to get our students on board and on level with everyone else. Learning should be fun, and with iCHEETAH it definitely is,” she shared.
The robot is outfitted with several interactive features, including voice recognition, games, and educational content, making learning engaging and exciting for young learners.
CONTACT: SHERIKA HALL

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