KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 17, CMC – The University of the West Indies (UWI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) formalising a partnership towards improved research and training on public health priorities affecting people in the region.
UWI said that the MOU was signed by its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and CARPHA’s Executive Director, Dr. C. James Hospedales during the recent Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Inter-sessional summit held in St. Kitts.
In a statement, the region’s premier university said that it has maintained a consistent working relationship CARPHA since its inception in 2013, partnering on various projects including the region’s collective response to major public health threats like Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), climate change and health.
It said the two parties have also cooperated on the comprehensive Evidence Informed Decision Making Network (EvIDeNCe), a continuously updated repository for Caribbean health research and policy-related documents.
“The five-year MoU signals a joint intention to deepen the relationship between The UWI and CARPHA towards the more efficient use of research evidence to inform clinical and health-related policy and practice in CARICOM.”
It said that MOU will include academic and technical training in public health and related disciplines; enhanced research in health and environment sciences; expanded regional training offerings and curricula informed by health needs assessments and training and skills audits as well as internal technical capacity building for The UWI and CARPHA staff including formal staff exchanges and student internship programmes.
“The UWI and CARPHA have enjoyed a long relationship which has been strengthened further through this MoU. As regional institutions we both take very seriously our responsibility to provide solutions to the region’s public health challenges, working towards reversing well-documented health inequities that have plagued Caribbean peoples.
“Forming the right partnerships is critical to that success so we look forward to continuing our relationship with CARPHA,’ said Sir Hilary.
Dr. Hospedales said that the partnership “brings to light a range of existing beneficial research and training. It provides the base for scale-up of improved health and well-being for all Caribbean people.”
An Overseeing Panel will track the progress of key deliverables under the MoU. UWI and CARPHA will each have two representatives on the panel with chairmanship rotating between organisations every two years.