(CMC) – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Martinique Cancer Registry have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) to work together to strengthen cancer surveillance and control in the region.
CARPHA executive director, Dr Joy St John, said the scope of the collaborative work, under the MOU, “will be based on the joint goals of the Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub and the Martinique Cancer Registry to increase the quality, availability and use of cancer registry data to inform cancer control planning in the Caribbean region”.
Dr St John pointed out that in 2007 at the landmark summit on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Caribbean Community (Caricom) Heads of Government committed to establishing programmes necessary for the surveillance of NCDs, such as cancer.
She added that Caribbean countries also committed to reducing premature mortality by 25 per cent by 2025, and she declared that the signing of the MOU “is another milestone in our efforts towards advancing this agenda”.
Assistant Secretary General of Caricom Secretariat Alison Drayton reiterated the importance of the collaboration between CARPHA and the Martinique Cancer Registry.
“Population-based cancer registries are critical to providing data for research and strategic planning. Cancer is still one of the leading causes of preventable death in the Caribbean, hence boosting our ability to accurately collate population-based quality data that is comparable, valid, complete, verified and timely is critical,” she said.
Ambassador Donna Forde, assistant secretary general, Foreign and Community Relations, Caricom Secretariat also acknowledged the importance of the Cancer Registry and of shared health information systems. She noted that this cooperation between Martinique and CARPHA was an indication of how much more we can do together given our shared histories, culture and geography.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Caribbean and has a major impact on health and development.