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The UWI and CARPHA partner on Caribbean Health Policy

Photo Caption: L to R:  CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin La Rocque; The UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister and Lead Prime Minister for Health within the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet, Dr. The Honourable Timothy Harris; CARPHA Executive Director, Dr. C. James Hospedales.
On February 26, 2019, during the 30th Inter-sessional Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government Meeting, The UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr. C. James Hospedales signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalising a partnership towards improved research and training on public health priorities affecting people in the region.  Signalling the importance of the partnership, the signing was witnessed by Secretary-General of the CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, and the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, and Chairman of CARICOM.
The UWI and CARPHA have maintained consistent working relationships since CARPHA’s 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, as well as 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.
Moving forward, activities incorporated in the 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;
  • internal technical capacity building for The UWI and CARPHA staff including formal staff exchanges and student internship programmes;
  • joint publications and resource mobilisation.

Commenting on the formalised partnership Vice-Chancellor Beckles stated, “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.”
Speaking on behalf of CARPHA, Dr. Hospedales pointed out “This partnership of CARPHA with The UWI packages and 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. The UWI and CARPHA will each have two representatives on the panel with Chairmanship rotating between organisations every two years.
About The UWI
For the past 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and four campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Asia, and Africa such as the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development, the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 
As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. Times Higher Education has ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018, and was the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit www.uwi.edu.
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)

The UWI and CARPHA partner on Caribbean health policy

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