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Caribbean Environmental Health Institute Cement ties with CDC

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Friday, May 06, 2005 - More technical support and international expertise will be made available to the St. Lucia based Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) in the coming months. The institute forged a new relationship with the United States based Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

The newly formed collaboration was formalised on April 28th, with a visit from Associate Director of the Global Health Office of the Centre for Disease Control Ms. Marilyn DiSirio who held discussions on the way forward with the Executive Director of CEHI Mr. Vincent Sweeney.

According to Ms. DiSirio because staff training is high on CEHI‘s agenda, this area presents itself as a likely place to start strengthening their ties.

“I think the first area that jumps out at me is really participating in some joint -training ventures. CEHI does a great deal of training by bringing together people in workshops and I’ve looked at what their major programmes are and our goal has really been to unite health and environment; so we will be able to show what the health effects are of poor environments or poor environmental situations and to help correct them.”

According to Mr. Sweeney the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute has been creating linkages with organisations worldwide to build a network that can assist in several areas including accreditation of the laboratory services at CEHI.

“We cannot cover area all the areas our member states would want, therefore we need to work with others and we have been doing this for a number of years and the CDC Is essentially the latest we’ve added to the list of our collaborators.”

Additionally, Mr. Sweeney says, CEHI will also seek to create a possible partnership with the CDC on a special project to implement alternative strategies to reduce mercury use in products in the Caribbean Community.

CEHI’s, at present, addresses a wide a range of regional concerns including Waste management, pesticide Management, and Integrated Management of Watersheds and Coastal Areas.

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