The theme of the 3rd CHART-CCAS-CMLF Conference was “Prevention benefits of antiretroviral therapy in Caribbean HIV patients: the central role of patient engagement in the continuum of care”. The conference explored case studies, reports and research from the Caribbean in areas such as: what constitutes a successful HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention program, HIV testing capable of reaching vulnerable populations, destigmatising HIV, diagnosis and recruitment of HIV positive persons into care, retaining and monitoring patients during care to ensure effective drug adherence.
The conference also addressed key issues related to strengthening laboratory quality management systems and networks in the Caribbean, monitoring of access and quality of laboratory services, advances in laboratory networks and progress of regional initiatives.
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) hosted a national consultation yesterday. The draft regional policy, Quality Infrastructure and Conformity Assessment, is expected to focus on strengthening competitiveness and sustainability of goods and services produced within the member states of the region. Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Emma Hippolyte said such an initiative will strengthen and support the work of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards.
Stlucianewsonline.com, (2014). SLBS, CARICOM to implement quality standards for regional products | St. Lucia News Online. [online] Available at: http://www.stlucianewsonline.com/slbs-caricom-to-implement-quality-standards-for-regional-products/ [Accessed 3 Sep. 2014].
Nassau, The Bahamas -- Minister of Financial Services the Hon. Ryan Pinder said in order to create a quality infrastructure for goods and services within the region, the need for collaboration and cooperation among nations in CARICOM cannot be overstated.
Minister Pinder was speaking at the opening of the National Consultation on draft Regional Quality Infrastructure Policy hosted by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) at the British Colonial Hilton, Friday, August 22, 2014.
He said all of the countries within the region have their own unique characteristics including how they measure the quality of goods and services, which provides good reason for the existence of organisations like CROSQ in the region, and the great importance of meetings.
"The consultation is necessary to allow the countries to synergise their efforts and positions in relation to standardisation, conformity assessments, accreditation and metrology (accuracy in measurement of goods traded)."
Minister Pinder added that the need for standards is also important at a national level as The Bahamas looks to develop its economy and grow new arms of the economy, especially in relation to trade. "We need to be able to ensure that we have a level playing field and standards do that," he said.
Thebahamasweekly.com, (2014). thebahamasweekly.com - National consultation underway on draft regional quality infrastructure policy. [online] Available at: http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/bis-news-updates/National_Consultation_Underway_on_Draft_Regional_Quality_Infrastructure_Policy36586.shtml [Accessed 3 Sep. 2014].
Basseterre, St. Kitts – The St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards (SKNBS), within the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, hosted over 20 persons from Stakeholders on August 20, 2014. The “Draft Regional Policy for Quality Infrastructure” national consultation held at the Agriculture Department Conference Room, was funded through the 10th European Development Fund – Technical Barriers to Trade Component and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).
Quality infrastructure refers to all the fields of metrology, standardization, certification, testing, quality management system and accreditation that have a bearing on conformity assessment and quality.
The National Consultation was facilitated by Ms. Sanya Alleyne, Legal Officer at CROSQ and Mr. Fulgence St. Prix, Technical Officer- Standards at CROSQ. The purpose of this consultation was to review and discuss the Draft Regional Policy for Quality Infrastructure, specifically highlighting the gaps in the National and Regional objectives and implementation strategies of the Policy.
SKNVibes, (2014). St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau Of Standards (SKNBS) in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organization for standards and quality (CROSQ) hosts a national consultation on the Draft Regional Policy for quality infrastructure. [online] Available at: http://www.sknvibes.com/news/newsdetails.cfm/88561 [Accessed 3 Sep. 2014].
Efforts to strengthen the quality management infrastructure and continue the development and implementation of the accreditation programme of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) Laboratory, took a step further with the singing of the Memorandum of Understanding between CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality and GRDB. The Memorandum of Understanding establishes the framework for providing technical support and financial resources to strengthen the GRDB Laboratory in addition to the accredited testing of rice for Moisture Analysis and Physical Test by Grain Characteristics.
The Accreditation Programme is financed through the Caribbean Development Bank CARTFUND project: Strengthening the Capabilities of Testing Laboratories in the Caribbean to Reduce Technical Barriers to Trade. The project is being implemented by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality.
Inset Mr. Russell Franklyn, Officer-in-Charge – CROSQ and Mr. Jagnarine Singh, General Manager – GRDB shake hands after signing of the MOU.
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) has issued for public comment another batch of draft standards for the agricultural sector. The standards proposed for adoption as Saint Lucia National Standards will go through the mandatory sixty day period for comment by the general public.
The series of standards are for grades of watermelons, waternuts, yams, potato and tania.
Other agricultural standards for grades of grapefruit, mangoes, pineapples, oranges, plantain and tomatoes were issued for public comment last year as part of the overall effort to strengthen the agricultural sector.
Quality standards play a critical role in trade, creating access to markets and making products and services competitive. The SLBS is aggressively supporting the Ministry of Agriculture’s programme to improve the potential for export of agricultural produce other than bananas.
In addition, draft standards for wheat flour, rice and pasta products are also published for comment.
The public comment phase in the process of adoption of a standard is critical to the implementation of standards. It is important that the users have an opportunity to recommend changes to or even removal of areas which may place unreasonable demands on the sector.
It is desirable to have those who will be most impacted to have critical input into the final version of the document and create awareness of the requirements and expectations related to quality in their sectors.
Everyone with interest can comment on the draft standards which are available online at www.slbs.org.lc/draftstandards, in the reference section of all national libraries or at the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards at Bisee. The standards have also been made available to stakeholder associations for distribution to their membership.
The deadline for comments is Thursday 26th September 2014.
All comments on the standards should be addressed to the Head of the Standards Development Department of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, Bisee Industrial Estate, Box CP 5412, Castries.