CARPHA Spotlights Digital Health at its First Hybrid Research Conference

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital health has been used to transform, connect, and inform public health, with mobile apps used for contact tracing; online learning platforms for schools and universities normalised, and CARPHA, as well as a range of businesses implementing teleworking for employees.

Now, under the theme COVID-19 and Digital Health: Transforming, Connecting, Informing Public Health, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Health and Wellness, will host a combined in-person and virtual event from 15 – 17 September 2022.  The three-day conference, which gives delegates a platform to network, share research and insights, will take place at the AC Hotel in Kingston.

“The focus of this year’s CARPHA conference is as timely as it is important; and aligns with the strategic priorities of the Ministry of Health & Wellness. Those priorities include the prevention and care management of non-communicable diseases – NCDs, which are a scourge on Jamaican and Caribbean society,” noted Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, speaking at the September 6th media launch for the conference.

“Our experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the value of digitisation to health system resilience. What digitisation does is to create the enabling environment for safeguarding continuity of care to patients through the offer of collaborative care, cost control and population health management. At this year’s CARPHA conference, therefore, digitisation is being given the sort of attention it needs even as we provide the platform for learning and planning through knowledge and experience sharing, reflected in the array of research on offer from across the Region,” the Minister added.

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Image of CARPHA Executive Director, Dr Joy St John
CARPHA Executive Director, Dr Joy St John

Executive Director of CARPHA, Dr. Joy St. John said: “This 66th CARPHA Annual Health Research Conference is the first hybrid conference in more than six decades. CARPHA is passionate about showcasing and encouraging the conduct of research in the Region. Over the three days, we have a chance to enjoy the research findings that will be presented by our very own researchers: students, young researchers, research stalwarts. The good thing about this conference is the perfect blend of youth and experience, which makes for an exciting glimpse of the Caribbean from a researcher’s perspective.”

A series of events, including Town Hall Meeting; a Regional Health Communications Meeting, Training in Monitoring and Evaluation; a Workshop on Data Analysis, Dissemination and Use; and meetings and training on vector-borne diseases will take place leading up to the conference.  A meeting for Caribbean NCD, Nutrition, Mental Health Focal Points will also take place ahead of the conference.

Presentations will include rebuilding after COVID-19: role of technology and digital health; Digital Health: Impact on Children; the association of birth weight and body composition during Infancy in 1-year-old Jamaican children.

Exhibitors from the Caribbean and beyond are set to showcase their innovations, products and services to delegates.

CARPHA will also honour health professionals who have served the Region and contributed tremendously to the advancement of Caribbean Public Health. This year’s awardees are Dr. Victor Blanchette and Professor Seeromanie Harding.

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