At their just-ended summit in the Bahamas, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders urged member states to remain vigilant against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
An end-of-conference Communiqué said the leaders called on the Region to remain vigilant and continue to carry out active surveillance, promoting the use of established prevention and control guidelines.
The Heads of Government also received an update from Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
The Communiqué said it emphasised the need for a comprehensive response to COVID-19, Mpox, and other regional health security threats.
The threats included the re-emergence of Zika.
Also included were the ongoing threat of Dengue, other Vector-borne diseases, the low vaccine uptake and the associated challenges of regular, expanded immunisation.
In addition, the leaders noted reports of the low receipt of surveillance data from Member States, which could hamper early detection and response.
The Communiqué said the CARICOM leaders recognised the need to allocate adequate resources for Vector Control Programmes to curtail the spread of Zika in the Region.
They agreed to support CARPHA’s Vaccine Campaign launch to improve COVID-19 vaccination levels and the regular expanded programme of immunisation activities.
And the Heads of Government welcomed the World Bank’s establishment of the Pandemic Fund.
The Fund will finance critical investments to strengthen national, regional, and global pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacities.
The focus would be on low- and middle-income countries.
According to the end-of-conference Communiqué, CARICOM states were strongly encouraged to submit Expressions of Interest to access the Fund in the first round of the process.