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UWI participates in meeting to control dengue and Chikungunya virus

The Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA, and the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network, CKLN are convening a half-day virtual symposium focused on managing the spread of Dengue fever and the Chikungunya virus (both spread by the Aedes Egypti mosquito) on June 12, 2014, in different sites around the region.
Using the region’s dedicated research and education network, C@ribNET, to engage participants and presenters, the symposium is geared towards clinicians, researchers and healthcare practitioners, the symposium will provide an opportunity to share experiences tackling and managing Dengue fever & the Chikungunya virus  (ChickV) in the Caribbean. The symposium also intends to raise awareness and share with the health care practitioners how the dedicated research & education networks can support and facilitate the collaborative work of medical, research and health-related groups and communities.
Presentations will be made by Dr. Babatunde Olowokure, Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control, CARPHA , Prof. Christine Carrington, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Virology, University of the West Indies, UWI, Prof Dave Chadee,
Professor - Zoology
Life Sciences, UWI  and Dr. George Han, U.S. Public Health Service, Dengue Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Participants and presenters will join from six locations - Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Grenada, Singapore, and The Bahamas.
According to Dr. James Hospedales, Executive Director of CARPHA, there are an unusual number of cases of Chinkingunya in the region. The illness was first detected in the Caribbean in December 2013, in St Martin, and more recent outbreaks have been detected in Antigua, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados, creating a situation that is now of epidemic proportions. Regional health officials are now very alert to its potential spread.
Mr. Ken Sylvester, Chief Executive Officer of CKLN says that the symposium provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate to the healthcare professionals and their technical support teams how using R&E networks can significantly support and enhance their collaborative clinical work and research on health issues, such as Dengue and ChickV that affect the Caribbean citizenry.
Both the CARICOM agency heads underlined the timeliness of the symposium. They noted that those agencies working to manage these and similar diseases need more opportunities to meet - especially virtually - sharing what is being done locally and in other regions, sharing resources and data and exploring ways of collaborating to be even more effective in combatting these diseases in endemic countries and to prevent its spread.
Research and education networks around the world continuously facilitate this kind of collaboration, and encourage institutions and regional agencies to take advantage of the networks (C@ribNET) which have higher speeds, stable connections, steady delivery and a high level of security as a time- and cost-effective, collaboration tool for greater sharing, teaching, learning and research.
The participating locations are:

  • The Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training, International Water Front Center, 18th Floor Conference Room, Tower C, #1A Wrightson Road, Port Of Spain, Trinidad)
  • The Hugh Wynter Fertility Management Unit, Lecture Theatre, UWI Hospital, Kingston, Jamaica
  • UWI School of Clinical Medicine and Research, Shirley Street, P. O. Box GT-2590, Nassau, Bahamas
  • Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, St. George's University, Box 7, True Blue, St. George, Grenada
  • Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), Av Francia, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • National University of Singapore (NUS), 21 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119077
  • Dengue Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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