Belize’s Minister of Health Represents CARICOM at World Health Organization Meeting
Whilst in Geneva, Switzerland, Minister Kevin Bernard is playing a dual road. He is not only representing Belize, but he is also representing CARICOM as the Chair of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD). He appeared on behalf of the Health Ministers of CARICOM where concerns were presented to the World Health Organization.
Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness: “A privilege to be asked to chair as I’m the chair for COSOD which is the health ministers within the Caribbean region and so through the CARICOM Secretariat we had organized the meeting while we’re here most of the ministers in fact nearly all the ministers are here except for Suriname but they had a representative who was here we had asked for a meeting with the director of PAHO and this meeting was not just to bury our discussion with the entire Americas but to focus on the Caribbean countries that form part of CARICOM. So we wanted to meet with Doctor Barbosa and to highlight those pressing needs and again some of the same things that I mentioned earlier are the same similarities that were brought up at that discussion which has to do with the human resource issues where our people are being poached. We are talking about the issue of COVID and long COVID one of the ministers from Saint Lucia brought up the concern about he believed that there needs to be further research in terms of long COVID. There is the issue of how we are going to arrest NCD’s in our country, what technical support are we going to be getting, training, how is it that PAHO is going to be assisting. We know that through PAHO WHO here at the assembly have recently got approved for increased funding and so how is that going to benefit our region? How is it going to benefit our CARICOM countries in terms of health improvement within our countries ? So those are the discussions that we had. Was a very fruitful meeting, lasted for about an hour and a half and those are things that each area were able to raise, each minister was able to raise from their own country’s perspective but we speak in one voice and when you speak as CARICOMcwe speak with one voice and so that is what we are here to do.”
Minister Bernard returns home on Sunday.