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UWI hosts Zika Symposium

For Release Upon Receipt - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The University of the West Indies will host a two-day symposium bringing together an interdisciplinary group of specialists to explore issues relevant to the control of the Zika virus in the Caribbean. The symposium takes place this Friday and Saturday – March 4 and 5 – at the Hilton Hotel in Bridgetown, Barbados with live broadcasts on Caribbean cable stations Flow Channel 99 and Lime Channel 101. A live stream of day one’s proceedings will also be available via from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm AST.

Titled: One Environment, One Health: Informing the Caribbean Response to Zika, this symposium is organised as part of The UWI’s continuing strategic efforts to control the growing threat the Zika virus poses to the Caribbean region. It follows the launch of The UWI Regional Zika virus Task Force convened, by The UWI Vice-Chancellor, to leverage the University’s expertise and coordinate efforts with regional governments, health ministries and other agencies.

Over the two-day event, regional experts in environment, vector control, health, education, and economic impact assessment will discuss a holistic approach to controlling the virus, honing in on the specific areas of:

  • Promoting environmental health,
  • Understanding the science of mosquito control,
  • Assessing the Caribbean’s economic impact,
  • Monitoring clinical cases, and
  • Tracking the virus

Among the confirmed speakers are:Prof Dave Chadee, entomologist and parasitologist from The UWI, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago; Professor John Lindo, medical research in The Department of Microbiology, The UWI Mona Campus Jamaica; Professor Winston Moore, economist with expertise in Environmental Impact Assessments on Caribbean Economies, in the Department of Economics at The UWI, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados; Dr Glenford Howe, expert in Social and Educational Research and Policy Analysis at The UWI Open Campus; Professor Dale Webber, The UWI’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Graduate Studies and Research and several other technical experts from The UWI.

The agenda also includes a range of external partners and stakeholders including: Dr Rachel Albalak, Director CDC Caribbean Regional Office US Embassy in Barbados; Dr Jean Marie Rwangabwoba and PAHO/WHO Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean; Dr Joy St. John, Director Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control in Trinidad and Tobago; Tiaji Salaam-Blyther, ‎Specialist in Global Healthat the Library of Congress, Washington DC; and Professor Eric van Gorp Professor of Clinical Virology at the Erasmus Medical Centre, Holland.

Commenting on the symposium plans, Chair of The UWI Regional Zika virus Task Force, Professor Clive Landis said, “The UWI Task Force is excited to come together at the Symposium this week to lay out our strategy for how to deploy the considerable expertise of The University on behalf of the region, working closely with Caribbean and international agencies, in the collective fight against Zika. We invite the widest possible participation by regional ministries, stakeholders and the public in the live-streamed portion of the symposium to inform the Caribbean Response to this health emergency.”

Notes to editors on how to participate in or follow the Symposium:

  • For more information on The UWI Response to Zika: visit
  • For Media accreditation for editors and journalists and registration information:

call 1(246) 417-4076/77 or email

  • Symposium agenda: attached and available for download at
  • Live webcast on March 4:
  • Follow the Symposium on social media: #ZikaCaribbean

About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a fully-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with three physical campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus. The UWI serves 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, The British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. The UWI’s faculty and students come from more than 40 countries and The University has collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation.


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