The BVI is expected to benefit from a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC).
BVI Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Irad Potter said the agreement will benefit the Virgin Islands by creating avenues for advocacy for health and safety in the workplace, health promoting workplaces as well as recognition of the impact of health and wellbeing on the socioeconomic development of Caribbean people.
The agreement was signed on Thursday, May 19 in Trinidad at CARPHA’s Headquarters by Executive Director, Dr C. James Hospedales and Head of the CAIC Secretariat, Mr. Dav-Ernan Kowlessar.
Mr. Kowlessar stated that the CAIC is committed to influencing and shaping the Caribbean private sector as a world class brand that is competitive by becoming more innovative and productive in a resilient environment.
He added, “To achieve this, the productivity of our workforce in both the goods and services sectors must be grounded in a healthy culture supported by the appropriate health infrastructure. We are committed to achieving the UN Sustainable Goals for the region and through this relationship with CARPHA and other agencies we are focused on Goal 3 – Good health and well-being, Goal 8 – decent work and economic growth, Goal 9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure, and Goal 17 – partnerships to achieve the goal.”
The agreement aims to establish a joint partnership to support the improvement of the workforce productivity by addressing public health concerns related to NCDs, vector-borne diseases, climate change, tourism; as well as to support the development of the CARPHA Foundation.
Other areas of collaboration will be the provision of public health information of value, such as information on cost-effective health improvement strategies or emergency preparedness measures, to business support organisations, trade associations, and businesses that share concerns about important issues, such as the costs of ill health of an aging workforce or the potential disruption of and impact on commerce of a sudden disease outbreak.
The five-year agreement will also see CAIC contributing to CARPHA’s existing Tourism and Health programme. Specifically, CAIC is expected to be one of the stakeholders providing technical support towards the establishment of a “Healthier and Safer Destination Assured” Accreditation recognition mechanism for the Tourism Industry through the development and enhancement of the use of the Regional Tourism Health Information, Monitoring and Response Systems (THMRS) and Standards to Enhance Sustainable Tourism.