The emergence of the Chikungunya virus in the Caribbean in 2013, led to more than 800,000 suspected cases in the Caribbean and Latin America to date.
The impact on health and the economies of the Region have been considerable, especially as a significant proportion of persons affected have long-term complications of joint pain and impairment of function.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The two species can also transmit other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue, yellow fever, and Zika virus.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) will be hosting a Chikungunya Consultation and Partners Forum focusing on Chikungunya and other mosquito borne diseases from March 3rd-5th in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Under the theme Chikungunya in the Caribbean: Meeting Today’s Challenge and Preparing for the Future, the Consultation will bring together international experts from across the Region, as well as from other parts of the world, representing different fields of activity related to Chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases.
CARPHA Executive Director, Dr C. James Hospedales, explained that the aim of the meeting is to support the Caribbean in its response to the Chikungunya epidemic and the growing challenge to health, social and economic systems.
He said “the meeting also provides a unique opportunity to renew efforts to position mosquito-borne diseases as a high priority in the public health agenda, and examine the potential for public-private partnerships, as government alone cannot solve the problem.”
The range of topics to be addressed include the Long Term Impact of Chikungunya, Surveillance and Outbreak Response, Entomological Surveillance, Control and Management, Clinical Care and Services, Laboratory Services, Research and Innovation, and Communication Strategies and Experiences.
The Partners Forum will take place on the final day of the Consultation and will serve as an opportunity for development partners, academic institutions, private sector groups, civil society, government representatives and CARPHA staff to connect, share knowledge and promote thinking around novel joint initiatives.
The Consultation, which is funded by the European Union, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad from March 3rd – 4th and the Partners Forum on March 5th, 2015.