News Releases

UWI leads discourse on H1N1 and Zika Viruses

For Release Upon Receipt - January 22, 2016

St. Augustine

Healthcare professionals and leaders from both the private and public sectors will convene on January 31 at the Teaching and Learning Complex, Lecture Theatre A, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) for a medical symposium entitled ‘A Call to Arms against H1N1 (Swine Flu) and the Zika viruses.’ This symposium will be hosted as a joint effort between The UWI’s Faculty of Medical Science and The Ministry of Health. The one day symposium will run from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm. and is intended to facilitate discussion and provide health professionals with the facts needed to prepare them to manage the public health risks associated with the viruses.

Minister of Health, the Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh is scheduled to bring remarks and Dr Rakhee Palekar, Feature Speaker, will present on the ‘Epidemiology of H1N1 Infections’. Dr Palekar is a medical epidemiologist on the influenza team of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Also carded to present is Dr Clive Tilluckdharry, Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health and the Dean of The UWI’s Faculty of Medical Science, Professor Terence Seemungal.  Professor Seemungal will lead a slate of UWI experts and medical practitioners who will address the clinical aspects of the H1N1 and Zika diseases and facilitate a panel discussion on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and control of the viruses, mapping the way forward.

“The Zika virus has not yet been detected locally but it is present in the Americas – Brazil and Puerto Rico - and though we are already faced with cases of the pandemic influenza H1N1, it is preventable and manageable. There is however a great need for health professionals to be alert and prepared to act to prevent and manage the viruses. The symposium is one of the ways that The UWI is owning its responsibility for providing information and guidance to the healthcare sector and the wider community on health-related issues,” said Professor Terence Seemungal, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Science.

The cost for attendance is TTD $200 and TTD $100 for students with valid ID. Practicioners, educators and policy makers are invited to register for the event by contacting the Symposium Secretariat at 868-662-3232 ext. 5021 or email for more information.



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 full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. 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. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)