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JM | Sep 22, 2022

US Health and Human Services official visits Jamaica

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Collaboration ongoing between nations to improve global health security

Loyce Pace, United States Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs.

Loyce Pace, United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, paid a working visit to Jamaica last week to highlight the US’s commitment to public health in Jamaica and the Caribbean region.

The US Embassy in Kingston said the visit of the high-level US government official to Jamaica, from September 14 through 16, reflected its commitment to global health and continued efforts to improve health security.

Pace oversees HHS department’s engagement with foreign governments, international health institutions and policymaking bodies.

The department is also responsible for advancing US policies and partnerships to promote public health worldwide.

Pace’s visit coincides with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) celebrating 75 years of public health service.

Loyce Pace delivering the keynote address at the CARPHA 66th Annual Health Research Conference in Jamaica. (Photo: Twitter @HHS_ASGA)

The HHS Department/CDC provides public health expertise and strategic support to the Government of Jamaica and partners to strengthen the public health system, achieve sustained HIV epidemic control, and increase health security capacity to prevent, detect and effectively respond to health threats.

While in Jamaica, the assistant secretary delivered a keynote address on ‘Using Digital Health to Improve Health Equity’ at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) 66th Annual Health Research Conference.

During the function, she commended CARPHA Executive Director Dr Joy St John on the agency’s efforts to advance public health among member states.

Meeting with Jamaica’s Health Minister

During her meeting with Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton, Pace discussed the longstanding partnership between the US and Jamaica and ongoing collaboration to improve global health security.

She also highlighted US investments to strengthen health systems and a commitment to increase public health workforce capacity globally.

Pace with Dr Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s minister of health and wellness. Photo: Twitter @HHS_ASGA)

Pace singled out for special mention the CDC’s Caribbean Regional Office in Jamaica, which works in close partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to strengthen surveillance, laboratory systems, health workforce, and public health emergency response capacity in the country.

Since 2014, CDC has provided public health technical expertise and more than J$3.6 billion to address the HIV epidemic, strengthen health systems and respond to COVID-19 and other disease outbreaks across the island.

On the last day of her visit, Pace paid a visit to Slipe Pen Road Comprehensive Health Centre (CHC) in Kingston, accompanied by CDC Caribbean Regional Office Director Dr Emily Kainne Dokubo.

The health centre is a CDC-supported health facility and the largest HIV treatment site on the island, providing quality prevention, care and treatment services to more than 2,000 clients.

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