Assistant Director- General of the WHO, Dominican born Dr. Carissa Etienne to deliver lecture on aspects of Primary Health Care


Roseau, Dominica – August 25, 2008…….Recently  appointed Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Services at the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dominican-born Dr. Carissa Etienne will deliver a lecture on aspects of Primary Health Care in Dominica later this year.


As part of activities to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Political Independence from Britain, the National Reunion Planning Committee is planning a series of lectures on issues of national development.


Given her role as one of the pioneers in the development of primary health care in Dominica in the 1980s and in recognition of her rise to prominence and notoriety on the international stage through the Pan American Health Organisation and the World Health Organisation, the Reunion Committee found it fitting to invite Dr. Etienne to deliver a lecture on aspects of primary health care.


Prior to her appointment to such an eminent position at the WHO, Dr. Etienne served as the Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organisation.


The appointment of Dr. Etienne to such an eminent position at the WHO is historic, since this is the very first time that a West Indian has been appointed to serve at that level for a prestigious organisation like the WHO.


Recently, Dr. Etienne did a presentation on “Matching the Power of Global Health Initiatives and Health Systems to increase Access to Health Services at the Harvard School of Public Health.


Dr. Etienne began her career with the Ministry of Health in Dominica as a medical officer at the Princess Margaret Hospital in 1977 and by the 1980s was one of the pioneers of the primary health care programme, an initiative financed by the Pan American Health Organisation.


During the 1990s, she held several key positions in the Ministry of Health, including Chief Medical Officer, designated National Epidemiologist, Chairman of the National AIDS Committee and coordinator of the National AIDS Programme. In the latter capacity, she was Government’s lead advisor on strategies for the prevention, control and management of HIV/AIDS, and was responsible for implementing programmes in this area as well as mobilizing and managing financial resources from donor agencies.


Dr. Ettienne is also expected to participate in a consultation on Primary Health Care organized by the Ministry of Health and Environment in Dominica later this year.

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