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(PRESS RELEASE) – With a focus on improving the delivery of health care services in the Caribbean in times of disaster, leaders from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine (CCDM) signed an agreement today to increase collaboration between the groups. The Honorable Silveria Jacob, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, addressed attendees at the signing ceremony, speaking on the impact of Hurricane Irma and the importance of building resiliency.
Through the partnership, CDEMA, the regional agency for disaster management, and the CCDM (operated through American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine), which focuses on disaster medicine education and training, will bring together stakeholders and resources to train professionals and enable the public to better prepare for disaster-related medical and health care issues.
“We have been engaging centres of higher learning in the Caribbean for some time as a means of ensuring that the Agency is cultivating a brain trust that can inform its capacity building efforts and to aid in development of innovative programmes to drive the Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management and Resilience Mandate among participating states,” said Mr Ronald Jackson, executive director of CDEMA. “Previously, we have leveraged these efforts around the University of the West Indies (UWI), University of Technology (UTECH) and University of Guyana. We are now happy, therefore, to be engaging with knowledgeable partners, beyond our traditional community of actors, such as the Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine (CCDM) at American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine, so that we are able to benefit from a wider pool of knowledge resources that can aid our resilience building efforts.”
“CDEMA is a leader in helping our communities manage the impact of natural disasters and a critical partner in our mission to improve disaster preparedness and response from a health care perspective,” said Mark Quirk, executive director of the CCDM. “Through this agreement, the CCDM pledges to move our work with CDEMA forward as we focus on collaborative efforts in education and training for healthcare and non-healthcare professionals. Together, we will work across islands and across countries with experts from multiple fields and disciplines to improve disaster resilience in the Caribbean.”
The partnership will be highlighted at the 2020 International Conference on Disaster Medicine and Hurricane Resiliency, hosted by the CCDM, taking place March 26-29 in Sint Maarten. Full conference details and online registration are available at https://ccdm2020.eventbrite.com.