On December 01, 2023, Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and Professor Kristin Braa, Director of the HISP Centre at the University of Oslo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of public health systems management in the Caribbean.
This collaboration is ground-breaking because it aims to fortify public health and disease surveillance systems over the next five years through joint efforts in national and regional DHIS2 capacity building, research on public health and information systems, and the integration of the region into the global DHIS2 community of practice.
DHIS2 is an open source, web-based platform most commonly used as a health management information system.
Dr. Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA expressed her enthusiasm about the partnership, “This MoU with the University of Oslo establishes a collaborative framework, fostering knowledge exchange and research synergy between our organisation and academic experts. This partnership can significantly enhance the use of DHIS2 in public health surveillance, leveraging the University’s expertise to advance our mission of fostering healthy people, healthy spaces and a healthy Caribbean through robust data-driven initiatives”.
Professor Kristin Braa, Director of the HISP Centre, also hailed the signing of the MoU, “We’re very excited to embark on this collaboration with CARPHA. We see a lot of opportunities and possibilities to work together to help strengthen public health systems in the Caribbean with DHIS2.”
Mr. Gabriel Garcia, IT Manager, CARPHA shared similar sentiments, “It marks a significant step towards building resilient public health systems in the Caribbean. By combining our expertise and resources, we can make substantial contributions to the field of public health disease surveillance and management.”
Key aspects of the partnership include:
Capacity Building: CARPHA and the University of Oslo will collaborate to develop and implement comprehensive capacity-building programmes aimed at strengthening the skills and knowledge of public health professionals. Workshops, training sessions, and knowledge-sharing initiatives will be tailored to address the evolving needs of the sector.
Research Collaboration: The MoU establishes a framework for joint research projects that will contribute to the advancement of disease surveillance systems and public health strategies. Researchers from both organisations will collaborate on cutting-edge studies with the goal of producing impactful findings that can inform policy and practice.