These include The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), the Caribbean Environment Health Institute (CEHI), the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFHI), the Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC) and the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory (CRDTL).
St. Kitts & Nevis, along with four other CARICOM nations, have now signed the necessary agreement that establishes, what is to be called, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, (CARPHA).
Efforts are being made to complete the entire process of the transformation and consolidation of these institutions into this new single entity, by 2014.
CARPHA will be based in Trinidad and Tobago and will replace and build on the work of the five Regional Health Institutions.
The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) was also signed by Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada and St. Lucia during the 28th Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers, with other countries pledging to join this group in time for the Thirty-Second Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government.
The Conference will be held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort from June to 4 July 2011.
At the Twenty-First Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) on Health, held in April last in Georgetown, Guyana, Ministers of Health had noted that progress towards the establishment of this centre of excellence in public health was affected by the challenges encountered with regard to the completion of the IGA.
CARICOM Heads of Government in March 2010, approved CARPHA, led by a vision for a Community in which the health of the people is promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby fostering the wellness revolution enunciated in the Port-of- Spain Declaration.
The regional public health agency is being established with the overarching purpose of drawing together and building on public health knowledge and expertise across the Caribbean in an effort to prevent duplication of effort and resources, and to facilitate a of disease outbreaks.