Public Health Gets Award
The Public Health Department last week received an award for excellence in public health surveillance from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar accepted the award at the 12th meeting of Caribbean National Epidemiologists and Lab Directors, held in Trinidad and Tobago 17 – 19 September 2014.
The award acknowledges excellent performance by countries through their contributions to the CARPHA regional surveillance system, which must meet the criteria of being timely, relevant and responsive to health aberrations. It covers the 2012-2013 period.
Collecting the award on behalf of the Public Health Department, Dr. Kumar said he was pleasantly surprised when the announcement was made at the meeting.
“I am extremely happy and proud that CARPHA has recognised our work. I am also grateful for the opportunity to lead our local Communicable Disease Surveillance team, which includes: Public Health, Mosquito Research and Control Unit( MRCU) , Department of Environmental Health, the Health Services Authority Laboratory, and the Department of Agriculture,” he remarked.
He thanked all who had contributed to the success of the Department’s programmes.
The objective of the Trinidad meeting was to discuss current public health events and emergencies, and to strengthen collaboration and networking between and within member states and CARPHA.
Congratulating Dr Kumar and his team, Dr James Hospedales, Executive Director of CARPHA, said, "Good public health surveillance is the cornerstone of preparedness for timely, effective response to new diseases and other threats to health, and for effective monitoring and evaluation of health programs and policies.”
“The Cayman Islands are to be congratulated for winning the CARPHA 2014 Award for Public Health Surveillance, demonstrating a high standard among the Caribbean countries that will redound to the benefit of the people and community,” Dr Hospedales went on to say.
This is the fifth time that Cayman Islands has collected an award in the field of public health.
In 2009 and 1999 the department was honored for work in the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases in the Cayman Islands.
It received kudos in 2007 for excellence in communicable disease surveillance, from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Caribbean Epidemiology Centre CAREC (now Caribbean Public Health Agency- CARPHA).
Earlier, in 1992 the American Association for World Health, recognized the department with the Macedo World Health Day Award, for the health promotion programme Heartbeat Cayman, in recognition of its unique approach to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Adding his own praises, Minister of Health, Hon. Osbourne Bodden said, "Congratulations to the Public Health Department on winning the CARPHA Public Health Surveillance Award 2014. I am very pleased with the outstanding work of the department. Special thanks also to Dr Kumar for his guidance and leadership of the team over many years. Keep up the good work.”
Both Dr Kumar and Minister Bodden also commended the efforts of Public Health Surveillance Officer Timothy McLaughlin - who spearheads local surveillance programmes - for his dedication and commitment to excellence in his profession.