Highlights of health news from around the region

PANCAP urged to do more to fight disease in region

(Jamaican Observer) — GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), which ended a two-day meeting here on Wednesday, has been urged to vigorously promote the cause of elimination of HIV as a public health threat in the Caribbean.

Guyana’s Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy, who is also the chair of the PANCAP Executive Board said it was necessary to work towards a trajectory of long, healthy and productive lives for Caribbean citizens.

PANCAP, established in 2001, is the regional mechanism responsible for coordinating the Caribbean’s response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

Jamaicans making it difficult for gays to stay with one partner?

(Jamaica Observer) — ONE of the world’s leading bioethics publications, Developing World Bioethics Journal, says Jamaicans are making it difficult for men who have sex with men (MSM) to be monogamous. The publication also suggested that Health Minister Rudyard Spencer is unhappy with the fact that his government “continues to support legislation that contributes significantly to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among MSM”.

Sport for Health launched in Grenada

(Caribbean News Now) — ST GEORGE’S, Grenada—Principals and sporting ambassadors from each of Grenada’s 22 secondary schools attended the launch of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation’s (WINDREF) Sport for Health Program. 

A collaborative program between WINDREF, St George’s University, the Ministries of Sport and Health, and the Grenada National Olympic Committee, the goal is to help reduce the public health problem of chronic disease by increasing awareness and educating the public about delaying or preventing the onset of chronic disease by leading a healthier lifestyle.

Grenada gets funds for poverty reduction

(The Guardian, Trinidad) — ST GEORGE’S—The United Nations’ rural development agency is to co-finance a US$7.5-million project in Grenada designed to alleviate poverty in the Caribbean country, benefiting an estimated 12,000 members of poor communities on the main island and the isle of Carriacou. The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide US$3 million in loan to the six-year Market Access and Rural Enterprise Development Programme to create jobs, improve market access and support rural micro-enterprise projects in 50 communities, according to an agreement signed in Rome between the Fund and Grenada’s government.

Ministry of Health hold consultation on strengthening the health system

(Dominica News Online) — The Ministry of Health convened the first in a series of consultations on “Strengthening the Health Systems and Engaging the Private Sector” on Thursday March 31, 2011, at the Garraway Hotel.

Stakeholders from both the Private and Health Sectors participated in the half day consultation to dialogue on priorities for technical assistance in health system strengthening and private sector engagement. They were to provide a rationale for improving the sustainability of HIV/AIDS programming and the health sector, and also to develop a framework for future collaboration between the health and private sectors

Commentary: Poor indoor air quality a potentially explosive health crisis in the Caribbean

(Caribbean News Now) — On the outside the sunny Caribbean is known for its hot balmy weather mediated by cool island breeze, creating a literal tropical paradise. On the inside lurks the real culprit—high humidity and temperatures and the ever present mildew.

Because our building designs, laws, regulations and building codes have not taken into consideration the combination of outdoor and indoor air quality, workers and employers are now forced into an unnecessary standoff. Consequently, the Caribbean is on the verge of a worsening trend of sick building syndrome (SBS) as workers in several islands threaten employers with labour action unless they take serious stock of the poor quality of indoor air in their workplaces.

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