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Fellow Regional Council Members, CASMET Members, Country Representatives, Laboratory Professionals, Southern District Councillor, Ms. Kaye Tschop, AMT Liaison Mr Christopher Seay, Laboratory Professionals, students, friends and well-wishers.
As President of our Association for the biennium 2015-2017 I greet you with good health.
Our professional Association began the journey more than 63 years ago with Branches and Territories across the region. Much has been accomplished and the Association has continued our mission and vision to work effortlessly for the betterment and recognition of our profession throughout the region.
Our second Regional Council Meeting had to be postponed in October due to hurricane Matthew. Meeting was then rescheduled for November 18 to November 21, 2016 where we had a very successful and productive meeting during our two (2) days of deliberation. I extend my gratitude to the Jamaica Association for hosting this meeting and a heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended and contributed.
As healthcare professionals we all know the constant challenges that we face. However, this profession is always in continuous search of new methods and updated technology to provide rapid and accurate testing that will ultimately ensure quality patient care.
As we all are aware, we are now facing challenges with Dengue, Chic V and more recently the Zika virus (ZIKV) whilst still coping with the increase in cases of non-communicable diseases.
As at Epidemiologic week 35, ZIKV has been documented in 46 Latin American and Caribbean countries. In the Caribbean, the ZIKV began in early 2016 and presently, a downward trend is being observed, with the exception of St. Barthelemy and Saint Martin.
Overall, the global risk assessment has not changed.
ZIKV continues to spread geographically to areas where competent vectors are present. However, vigilance needs to remain high although there have been reports of a decline in ZIKV infection in some countries. Also, there have been reports of cases Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and congenital neurological syndrome associated with ZIKV infection. Hence the need for our continued vigilance (Adapted from CARPHA's ZIKA Alert Update dated September 8, 2016).
As there continues to be emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, I do implore all Medical Laboratory Professionals to continue to be leaders in our profession, embrace change and take hold of every available opportunity to make a significant contribution and impact on the field of medical technology.
This is my challenge to you. Let’s keep our Association vibrant. As we approach the end of the year, I would like to wish everyone and their family a Merry Christmas and a Bright and Prosperous New Year 2017. May god bless you.
CASMET Mission and Vision (Link)
CASMET Code of Ethics (Link)
CASMET Constitution (Link)