Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2021. 1:42 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Japan donated $300,000 for COVID-19 PCR tests to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) under the Japan-CARICOM Friendship and Cooperation Fund on Tuesday.
Tatsuo Hirayama, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, made the presentation to the CARPHA Executive Management Team at a ceremony at the CARPHA headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Twenty-three (23) Viral RNA Test Kits valued at US$43,411 were handed over to the CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML) to conduct approximately 5,750 tests.
CARICOM TODAY said these laboratory supplies will assist CARPHA’s COVID-19 testing capacity.
Japan also handed CARPHA a total of US$267,724 from the Association for Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC) for the acquisition of kits to carry out approximately 72,090 tests in Guyana, Jamaica, and Suriname.
“CARPHA is pleased to receive these items which will add to our ability to provide support to the Governments and People of the Region in their continued fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Joy St. John, CARPHA Executive Director. “We would like to express our gratitude for the continued and considerate support to fight this COVID-19 pandemic from the Government and People of Japan, through the Japan-CARICOM Friendship and Cooperation Fund.”
Dr. St. John also thanked the Secretary-General of CARICOM, Dr. Carla Barnett for the trust and confidence she has placed in CARPHA and for the ongoing collaboration between CARPHA and the CARICOM Secretariat.
“We are focusing today on the handover of the RNA kits to address the challenges we have had with COVID-19. Due to the impact of this disease on all aspects of our lives, we sincerely appreciate how important this is for us to be best prepared through our lead public health institution CARPHA, to help our Member States manage the process going forward,” said CARICOM Secretariat’s Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, Dr. Douglas Slater speaking on behalf of the CARICOM Secretary-General.
Ambassador Hirayama paid respect to CARPHA for its essential role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the Caribbean region.
“Japan and CARICOM have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship based on our shared principles and values that include, among others, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law,” said the Ambassador.
He said he hoped the test kits would help CARICOM’s COVID-19 testing capacity.
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