Left to right, Health Planner, Sylvester Belle; Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws; and Epidemiologist, Dr. Rafael Rosales.

Officials from the Ministry of Health in St. Kitts are currently in Montego Bay, Jamaica, for a Sub-Regional Meeting in Influenza Surveillance and Pandemic Preparedness and Response Training, which runs from September 9-12.

Representing the Ministry of Health are Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws; Health Planner, Sylvester Belle; and Epidemiologist, Dr. Rafael Rosales.

The training is organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and is attended by health professionals from 30 countries and territories. Professionals will undergo relevant training on surveillance, pandemic preparedness and response including coordination, logistics, administration, management of economic resources and vaccine deployment.

The overall goals of the training are to enhance country capacity to conduct influenza and respiratory virus surveillance, including collecting, analyzing and communicating quality data and strengthening the capacity of Caribbean countries to prepare for, respond to, and recover from an acute unusual health event, such as pandemic influenza.

Participants at the workshop are expected to prepare a weekly bulletin, a pandemic preparedness plan, monitor indicators for influenza surveillance, and draft a national action plan in order to develop or update the national pandemic influenza preparedness plan, among other tasks.