The University of the West Indies (UWI) has launched a regional UWI Zika task force that will leverage the university’s extensive public health capabilities and coordinate its efforts with regional governments and health ministries to combat the Zika virus.

UWI’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles announced on Tuesday that Professor Clive Landis, Deputy Principal of the Cave Hill, Barbados campus, will chair the regional task force that will comprise eminent scholars, scientists and public health experts.

UWI said the task force will help inform an aggressive and scientifically based prevention strategy to eliminate breeding sites for Aedes aegypti mosquito.

The Task Force will work closely with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the ministries to pool resources to research and analyze the Zika outbreak and associated health complications in the Caribbean, and conduct economic impact studies and engage with Ministries on outbreak preparedness.

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