As a follow up of the recently launched EVIPNet Americas in Trinidad and Tobago (July, 2009), a national task force was identified and started meeting regularly, under the leadership and coordination of the Ministry of Health and with PAHO’s technical cooperation. The identified task force had a wide cross-sectional representation of governmental and none governmental organizations and representatives of the Academia, professional associations and the private sector, and PAHO.
As a result of this 2 ½ years of work, representatives of Trinidad and Tobago have had opportunities to participate in national and international training workshops for the formulation of Policy Briefs (PB) under the EVIPNet Americas initiative, conducted by international experts from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Macmaster University and the International University of Florida. This was possible thanks to the gracious support of many international partners such as AECI, Alliance for Health Policy & Systems Research, SUPPORT Collaboration, MacMaster Health Forum, PUC de Chile, Cochrane Collaboration, PAHO’s Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR/CAIS) and others, in close coordination and with support or PAHO Regional Technical Unit (HSS/RF, SDE, KMC).
As a consequence, the task force has been able to complete the PB on Injuries and Violence, specifically on the topic of sexually abused children.
Most recently, the Ministry of Health organized a one-day Policy Dialogue (PD) on: “The Management and Rehabilitation Services for Sexually Abused Persons under 18 years of age in Trinidad”, which was conducted by international experts from the International University of Florida and the University of Maryland. The PD had more than 30 participants, representing management level of the key national stakeholder institutions such as the newly formed Children’s Authority, under the recently created Ministry of the Children, Youth and Gender, the Academia, the National Police Force, relevant NGOs and health care providers at the local and regional levels.
It is worth noting that the recently completed PD is only for Trinidad; however, we are already in contact with Tobago for the PB and PD, which is scheduled to take place during 9 November, 2011.
This process in Trinidad and Tobago is a very good example of horizontal collaboration, multisectoral approach and interdisciplinary action, country focused, which could well be used as a best practice in other countries of the Caribbean Region.
National Health Authorities and other key national stakeholders have publicly recognized PAHO’s commitment and support to national efforts.