About Us

Caribbean Vector Borne Disease Network

The Caribbean Vector Borne Disease Network (CariVecNet) was conceptualised by a consortium of institutions for the organization of two workshops which identified the need for a regional network on surveillance , diagnosis, research, and control of vector borne emerging disease in the Caribbean. These workshops were funded by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.

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Foster collaboration among member countries, international public health agencies, developmental partners, academia, technical and financial partners to strengthen VBD control porgrammes in the Caribbean.

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Exchange surveillance information on the circulating of VBDs, share facilities for diagnosis and surveillance and collaborate on vector control research topics.

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Develop data sharing through an electronic website and improve community development in vector control.

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Standardise technologies and training with the expected long-term outcome being better prevention and control of VBDs.

It comprises of working groups and subject matter experts responsible for vector control, disease surveillance, clinical management and laboratory services.

To improve public health of the Caribbean population through a reduction in morbidity associated with Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.

To improve detection, monitor, prevent and control epidemics of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.

  1. Increased availability of data and evidence on strengthening public health interventions to detect, monitor, prevent and control mosquito-borne diseases.
  2. Institutional capacity for Vector Control Programmes in the Caribbean strengthened.
  3. Strengthened public education and behaviour change programmes on mosquito-borne diseases.
  4. Increased availability of data and evidence on strengthening public health interventions to detect, monitor, prevent and control mosquito-borne diseases.
  5. Strengthened regional coordination mechanisms for prevention and response to mosquito-borne diseases.

This network uses a multi-strategic approach to reduce the burden of Zika and other Mosquito Borne Diseases in CARPHA Member States (CMS). It comprises of working groups and subject matter experts responsible for vector control, disease surveillance, clinical management, laboratory services and community engagement. Major targeted regional interventions include:

    • Building Laboratory Diagnostic Capacity for Arboviral Diseases: - CMS will be trained in diagnostic tests, such as, Serology and PCR for the detection of arboviruses, including Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue. CMML will continue to provide reference laboratory services for Member States and surge capacity in the event of outbreaks.
    • Strengthening In-country Disease Surveillance Systems: - Assessment of surveillance systems for Vector Borne Diseases will be conducted and recommendations for improvement will be provided. Focus will be placed on potential system measures for future integration of entomological and climactic information to aid in disease modelling for early detection and management of outbreaks. Some focus will be placed on generating educational tools for the tourism sector to increase disease surveillance and reduce disease transmission.
    • A Vector Borne Disease Training module under the Caribbean Regional Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme CR-FELTP will be designed and piloted to enhance the skills of public health workers in the early detection and response to Zika and other mosquito borne diseases in the Caribbean.
    • Realignment of Country Vector Control Programmes and implementation of New technologies for Vector control:- CARPHA will continue to provide technical assistance to CMS to improve implementation of their Integrated Vector management (IVM) Strategies and to develop country-specific strategies in the area of prevention and control of VBDs. This will contribute to more effective control of mosquito vectors in the Caribbean. CARPHA will also continue to (i) provide training to CMS in the area of Insecticide Resistance Testing (IRT) and (ii) evaluate vector control measures in CMS with a view to providing recommendations for improvement. Training in the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which will help in collating and merging relevant datasets for real-time surveillance for timely and targeted responses for vector control interventions will be pursued. In addition, new tools, products and techniques for more effective control of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases will be piloted.
    • Focused community engagement strategies to promote behavioural change Through Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) national studies, evidence will be generated on how individuals make decisions and take action to reduce their risk of contracting Zika and other mosquito borne diseases. This evidence will inform the development of effective policies, strategies and programmes to address mosquito-borne diseases and strengthen community engagement interventions. The latter will include launching a public health education campaign in at least one CMS and using innovative tools such as the CARPHA Zap-a-quito app.
    • Improved access to national level health information to aid research and health policy on VBDs: - Documents related to Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases will be harvested, digitized and uploaded onto CARPHA’s knowledge-sharing portal, and made readily available to policymakers and other stakeholders in the Caribbean.
    • Improved Partnerships, Networks and Coordination:- International and regional partners that work in the area of VBDs will be engaged to ensure effective coordination of projects and activities to minimize duplication within the region and promote maximum usage of resources

In 2017 the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) collaborated with the Pedro Kouri Institute of Cuba, the Institute Pasteur, Guadeloupe and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Kitts and Nevis to form a consortium of institutions for the organization of two workshops to develop a regional network on surveillance, diagnosis, and control of VBDs in the Caribbean region, with funds from a World Health Organization Tropical Diseases Research (TDR) grant. 

The overall objective of the consortium was better prevention and control of VBDs through a regional network that includes Dutch, French, Spanish, and English-speaking Caribbean territories. The expectation is to strengthen collaboration between Caribbean institutions; facilitate regional exchanges on surveillance and diagnosis of VBDs; enhance collaborative research and training proposals and expert policy recommendations on how to improve the health network in the Caribbean. The expected long-term outcome is being better prevention and control of VBDs. 

After two years of exchanges among consortium partners and members of the network and the operationalization of the four technical working groups (Disease surveillance, Clinical Management, Vector Control, and Laboratory Diagnostics), the Caribbean Vector-Borne Diseases Network (CariVecNet) was officially launched during the 15th International Dengue Course at the Pedro Kour Institute (IPK), Cuba on August 8-9th, 2017. 

In 2019 /2020, CariVecNet received funds from the 11th EDF Zika and other Mosquito-Borne Diseases grants. This grant supports the exchange for surveillance information on the circulation of vector-borne diseases and collaboration on vector control and research topics projects. It also uses a multi- strategic approach to reduce the burden of zika and other mosquito-borne diseases in CARPHA member states. 

In January 2021, the project steering committee was established. This steering committee agreed to form the overall Executive Committee for the CariVecNet and provided oversight for the network. The Steering Committee for CariVecNet falls under the guidance of the Executive Committee and consists of subject matter experts who oversee the work of the technical working group. In January 2021, the committee members saw the importance of incorporating community engagements into the network. Community engagement adds to the fifth CariVecNet technical working group. 

In order to start building membership for CariVecNet technical working groups, official requests were made to member states for the nomination of technical working group members. Each workgroup has specific structures which include a chair who is a member state representative, a co-chair, and additional representatives from member states, CARPHA, and any other subject matter experts.

CariVecNet consists of five working groups, namely, Surveillance, Vector Control, Clinical Management, Laboratory Diagnosis and Community Engagement. Each working group has a chair and a co-chair. The different working groups will be overseen by the Steering Committee. The CariVecNet also has an Executive Committee, comprised of representatives from the Ministries of Health of CARPHA Member States (CMS). See Figure 1 for the Governance Structure of CariVecNet.

Trinidad and Tobago Head Office
St. Lucia Office
Jamaica Office

This website was developed with the support of the Agence française de développement (AFD).