The designated chair of the CACH meeting, Dr Glen Beneby of the Bahamas was unable to attend, as he had to stay in the Bahamas to deal with the aftermath of hurricane Matthew, so Dr Lakshmi Somatunga of Sri Lanka kindly stood in. Dr Beneby gave an address via a video link to open the meeting.
After discussing the matters arising from the minutes of the meeting in March, Dr Joanna Nurse updated members on the Secretariat’s health programme of work. Among the achievements highlighted were the establishment of the Youth Health Network, publication of the Systems Framework for Healthy Policy and the Health Protection Policy Toolkit, development of a policy brief on Antimicrobial Resistance and a meeting conducted by the Secretariat on ‘Strengthening health systems for Global security’.
The CPA was able to put forward a statement to CACH members on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and ensure this was a top agenda item. The accreditation of pharmacists cross-country was also discussed, as was the CPA’s new continuing education platform to support pharmacists treating non- communicable diseases (NCDs). The Fleming Fund, Department of Health, UK was highlighted as a possible way of accessing funds to support AMR initiatives in member countries.
CACH members advised on the need for partnerships, prioritization, monitoring and evaluation, measurement of impact as well as implementation strategies at national levels. Members encouraged the involvement of regional bodies in the planning and implementation of the health work programme in order to leverage on their regional presence and reach.
Dr Stephen Dorey gave an update on the workings of the Health Hub, including the news and events page, online discussions and twitter polls.
A significant outcome of CACH was the production and sign off on the Colombo Declaration. The CPA were involved in the drafting of this document and have committed to lead on several action points detailed in the link below: