CARPHA Hosts Annual Health Research Conference

Terrance Drew at CARPHA Health Reseach Conference 2024.
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St. Lucia – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) recently partnered with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs to host its annual Health Research Conference under the theme “Violence in the Caribbean – A Public Health Crisis”.

Terrance Drew, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, at CARPHA Health Reseach Conference 2024.

The Executive Director of CARPHA, Dr. Joy St. John, said the Caribbean must find ways to address the issue of crime and violence.

According to Saint Lucia’s Minister for Health, Hon. Moses Jn Baptiste, viewing violence as a public health threat can allow for alternative considerations that can help increase overall public safety. He pointed to Saint Lucia’s commitment to crime reduction via the recent appointment of a Minister for Crime Prevention, Hon. Jeremiah Norbert.

The Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Terrance Drew, was also in attendance. He presented on the topic of firearm violence in the region.

“The Caribbean firearms study documented that the average medical expenditure required to treat a single firearm injury was equivalent to between two and 11 times the annual per capita public health spending in three case countries, Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica. I’m sure it is no different for Saint Kitts and Nevis or Saint Lucia. What has also become quite alarming is a trend of increasing pediatric firearm injuries, gunshot injuries among young children and adolescents.”

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon. Philip J. Pierre, said explain four key points come to mind when he reflects on the issue of crime and violence as discussed during the conference.

“Crime and violence in the Caribbean is far more complex and challenging than many decision-makers and the people of the Caribbean might appreciate. I was able to better appreciate how targeted and sustained research on current and emerging issues can help to abate crime and violence in our region. I am reassured that we have the intellectual capacity in the region to address what is arguably the biggest threat to sustainable development in the Caribbean. So, how can we organize the abundant intellectual talent in our region to support evidence-based decision making on crime and violence?”

Representatives from the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs are committed to continue working with various agencies, both regional and international, to help reduce the spread of the crime and violence in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean.

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