Jamaica to host major Caribbean Public Health Conference

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The Jamaican government will host a three-day Caribbean Public Health Agency

(CARPHA) conference giving delegates a platform to network and share research and insights into the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It said the September 15-17 conference would be held under the theme “COVID-19 and Digital Health: Transforming, Connecting, Informing Public Health”.

“The focus of this year’s CARPHA conference is as timely as it is important and aligns with the strategic priorities of the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Those priorities include the prevention and care management of non-communicable diseases – NCDs, which are a scourge on Jamaican and Caribbean society,” said Health and Wellness minister Dr. Christopher Tufton at the media launch of the event.

“Our experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the value of digitization to health system resilience. What digitization does is create the enabling environment for safeguarding the continuity of care to patients through the offer of collaborative care, cost control, and population health management.

“At this year’s CARPHA conference, therefore, digitization is being given the sort of attention it needs even as we provide the platform for learning and planning through knowledge and experience sharing, reflected in the array of research on offer from across the region,” he added.

CARPHA’s Executive Director, Dr. Joy St. John, said the 66th CARPHA Annual Health Research Conference is the first hybrid conference in more than six decades.

“CARPHA is passionate about showcasing and encouraging the conduct of research in the region. Over the three days, we have a chance to enjoy the research findings that will be presented by our very own researchers: students, young researchers, and research stalwarts.

“The good thing about this conference is the perfect blend of youth and experience, which makes for an exciting glimpse of the Caribbean from a researcher’s perspective,” she said.

A series of events, including a town hall meeting, a regional health communications meeting as well as training in monitoring and evaluation, and a workshop on data analysis, dissemination, and use, are among the topics being reviewed ahead of the opening of the meeting.

CARPHA said presentations would include rebuilding after COVID-19: role of technology and digital health; digital health: impact on children; the association of birth weight and body composition during infancy in one-year-old Jamaican children.

CARPHA will also honor health professionals who have served the region and contributed tremendously to the advancement of Caribbean Public Health. This year’s awardees are Dr. Victor Blanchette and Professor Seeromanie Harding.

The Trinidad-based regional health agency said the conference is the longest-running health conference in the Caribbean and Latin America and attracts leading regional and international health professionals and researchers as well as students from across the globe.

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