Mrs. Sisera Simon, Head of the Human and Social Division, OECS, called the consultation to order and offered welcome remarks as well as a vote of thanks.
Chairperson, Dr Taraleen Malcolm, PAHO Advisor, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, delivered introductions.
Brief remarks were offered by Dr Florian Luetticken, Team Lead/ Counsellor, EU Caribbean Partnership for Governance, Security and Human Development; Mr. Dean Chambliss, PAHO Subregional Program Director, and Dr Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS.
Mr. Dean Chambliss noted that:
The timing of our discussion is opportune, as the European Union Climate and Health project, now in its fourth year, is focused on the sustainability of a regional Climate Change and Health programme. We are very pleased to have the EU participating this morning as a key partner in health.
Dr Didacus Jules remarked:
We are here to focus specifically on the health issues but let me say that the issue of the multi-dimensionality of the climate change crisis is something that is becoming increasingly well-recognized and the various multi-lateral and international specialized agencies are beginning to focus their areas of competence on that, so we very much welcome that partnership with both the EU and PAHO.
The stakeholder discussions highlighted the one health approach and were centred on:
- The EU/ CARIFORUM CCH Project Activities and Opportunities for OECS Countries;
- The EU Regional Climate Change and Health Agenda; and
- Strengthening Collaboration with the OECS around Climate Change, Health and Sustainability.
Regional health systems and populations remain highly vulnerable to impacts from climate change causing extreme weather; negative effects on food and water security; impacts to health and wellbeing; lost/ reduced work capacity-migration; economic impacts; and inability to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The EU/CARIFORUM Climate Change Project intends to use a one-health approach, within the Caribbean Cooperation in Health Phase IV (CCH IV) Framework, thereby contributing to reduced mortality and morbidity from expected health consequences of climate change in Caribbean countries. It includes linkages to the environmental determinants of health, COVID-19 prevention and control, and supports sixteen (16) Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.