The 50-year relationship between Barbados and the Pan-American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) was today celebrated with the planting of five trees.
Held under the theme, Together We Grow at the PAHO/WHO headquarters Dayrells Road, Christ Church each tree symbolised a decade of friendship between Government and the international bodies.
Acting Minister of Health Donville
Inniss, director of PAHO Dr Carissa Etienne, Dr Godfrey Xuereb PAHO/WHO representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, and Stephen O’Malley the resident representative for the United Nations Development Programme were in attendance.
Etienne, who flew to Barbados for the anniversary ceremony, said the 50-year partnership between Barbados and the international health agency had resulted in many milestones.
However, the top health official stressed that the fight against the Aedes aegypti mosquito needed to be intensified.
“Our public health agenda, is not yet completed. We must still escalate our fight against the notorious Aedes aegypti mosquito which has successfully transmitted the viruses that cause dengue, chikungunya, more recently Zika and yellow fever in the region of the Americas,” said the PAHO director.
While applauding Barbados for being the “leading light” in the fight against non-communicable diseases by adding it as a topic of high interest on the political agenda, Etienne said it was an ongoing battle against these disease.
“We must continue on all fronts to work to reduce the burden and the impact of the chronic non-communicable diseases and their risk factors,” she said.
Inniss, in his remarks addressed the public health care system on the island, noting its steady development throughout the 50-year partnership with PAHO/WHO.
“There is no other international body that has made as much a positive contribution to the development and the sustainability of health care in Barbados than the Pan American Health Organisation,” he said.
Referring to the five fruit trees planted, Inniss said each symbolised how Barbados as a member of PAHO/WHO had been “well nurtured, groomed and taken care of” by the international bodies.