Dr Didacus Jules (GP)
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Castries – The St Lucia-based Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean aimed at strengthening the partnership and collaboration in population programmes.
A statement issued here on Monday, noted that the MOU will allow for the collaboration in population programmes inclusive of sexual and reproductive health, demographic data and analysis and gender equality, including in humanitarian settings.
It was signed by UNFPA Caribbean Director and Representative Alison Drayton, and the Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr Didacus Jules.
The statement said that the two organisations have a long history of working together and are currently collaborating on several initiatives aimed at improving the availability of key decision-making data in the region.
It said the UNFPA has been supporting population and housing census and strengthening statistical capacity in the OECS member states since 1969, and is presently working with the OECS Statistical Services Unit to deliver technical and material support for the 2020 round of the Population and Housing Census that will be executed by the national statistics office in each OECS member state.
One such collaboration is with the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service, which undertakes pooled procurement for the nine member states through UNFPA for Reproductive Health Commodities, specifically contraceptives, including condoms.
UNFPA is also partnering with the OECS Health Unit to deliver training on the Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP) for sexual and reproductive health in emergencies and disasters.
The MISP is a coordinated set of activities designed to prevent and manage the consequences of sexual violence; reduce transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs); prevent new-born and maternal morbidity and mortality; prevent unplanned pregnancies and plan for comprehensive reproductive health services.
The project is being undertaken as part of the World Bank-funded OECS Regional Health Project which aims to improve preparedness capacities of health systems for public health emergencies in the OECS region. (CMC)