CAREC, a public health information, service and consulting organisation, dedicated to being the best at providing information that people need to improve health and prevent disease in the Caribbean.
To improve the health status of Caribbean people by advancing the capability of member countries in epidemiology, laboratory technology and related public health disciplines through technical cooperation, service, training, research and a well trained motivated staff.
Improving customer service
Managing for impact
Empowerment and accountability
Leadership and innovation
Self-respect and respect for others
The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre, (CAREC)
is administered on behalf of 21 Member Countries by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization's Regional Office for the Americas. CAREC enjoys an international reputation for its work in support of Public Health in the Caribbean. Under a Multilateral Agreement, CAREC provides laboratory reference and epidemiology services to 21 Member Countries.
The need for such a Caribbean Centre was first recognized in the early 1970's by Dr. Eric Williams, then Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. CAREC came into existence in 1975, following an endorsement by the Caribbean Health Ministers' Conference held in Dominica in 1973. Under a Bilateral Agreement with PAHO, Trinidad and Tobago took up the role of host country because of the existing strength of the Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory and well established links with research agencies such as the British Medical Research Council. CAREC today occupies a complex of buildings in Federation Park, Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago. This includes security laboratories and a variety of specialized units such as an experimental mosquito colony. Several epidemiological databases are maintained within a LAN infrastructure. Support facilities include a lecture theatre, a training laboratory, a library, offset print shop, a museum, an audio-visual unit, and an active preventive maintenance unit.
Our Member Countries:
Anguilla | Antigua & Barbuda | Aruba | Bahamas | Barbados
Belize | Bermuda | British Virgin Islands | Cayman Islands
Dominica | Grenada | Guyana | Jamaica | Montserrat
Netherlands Antilles | St. Kitts & Nevis | St. Lucia
St. Vincent & the Grenadines | Suriname | Turks & Caicos
Trinidad & Tobago
What are CAREC'S Activities?
CAREC's activities are organized within two major Divisions: The Epidemiology Division and the Laboratory Division, a Public Health Intelligence Research and Development Unit (PHI) and two programme/s: the Special Programme on Sexually Transmitted Infections (SPSTI) and the Expanded Programme on Immunization(EPI).
The Epidemiology Division is responsible for epidemiological work in the Caribbean in infectious diseases including the sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) and chronic diseases as well as injury surveillance. The unit assists in assessing the health status of the various populations. CAREC's epidemiologists, in cooperation with National Ministries of Health, monitor and assess trends, identify causal relationships and assist in developing public health responses.
The Laboratory Division provides a reference level of expertise in areas of Bacteriology, Immunology, Medical Parasitology and Entomology as well as inVirology. In Virology, the Division also provides diagnostic services for some CMC's which do not have access to such facilities locally. One of the important objectives of the laboratory is the assistance in upgrading national laboratories through training courses, the introduction of new methods and the provision of quality assurance to CMC laboratories. CAREC's laboratory also plays a major role in the fight against vector-borne diseases such as dengue, there is an active research program on biological control of Aedes aegypti and other vectors.
The Public Health Intelligence Research and Development Unit (PHI) provides technical oversight to the Centre's Divisions and programme/s in the areas of Virology, Microbiology, Entomology/Parasitology, Epidemiology and Bio-Statistics. This new Unit is expected primarily, to identify the strategic disease prevention and control issues facing the Caribbean, advise on opportunities and critical choices in public health practice and policy, assist in setting the strategic direction and research agenda for CAREC and assist in the mobilisation of resources to pursue that agenda.
The Administration Division provides administrative support for the core activities of the Centre through the Finance and Materials Management, Human Resource, Maintenance, Office Services and Library and Information Systems sections of the Division.
The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) assists countries in their efforts to achieve universal child immunization, and CMC's are among the best in this area, having eliminated measles (since 1991) and polio.
The Special Programme on Sexually Transmitted Infections (SPSTI). CAREC's effort on the mitigation of Sexually Transmitted Infections contains as its major focus, the prevention and control of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). CAREC has provided assistance to all Member Countries in recent years, in the development of national short and medium term plans, the provision of an AIDS Information and Education Centre, and in accepting responsibility for Sub-Regional Plan with emphasis on monitoring and evaluation of programme/s.