ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2011 – Newly appointed Director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Eastern Caribbean/Barbados Office, Dr. Merle Lewis, on Thursday presented letters of credence to Grenada’s Foreign Minister, Hon Karl Hood.

The brief ceremony took place at Minister Hood’s Office where the PAHO/WHO regional boss reaffirmed her organization’s commitment to assisting Grenada in achieving its public health goals and priorities. 

Dr. Lewis, a Trinidadian national, commended Grenada on its health agenda. She said Grenada has been active and performing well as it relates to its international obligations on the health agenda.

She promised that under her watch the Spice Isle will continue to receive technical and other support from her organization.

Foreign Affairs Minister Hood, on receiving the instruments, congratulated the new Director and conveyed his government’s appreciation for PAHO/WHOs’ overwhelming support for public health in Grenada.

Hood also used the opportunity to highlight some of the areas of support in which the Grenada Government will continue to seek technical and other relevant assistance from PAHO/WHO. One such area is the construction of a new hospital.

Dr. Lewis, who arrived in Grenada on Tuesday, has been making a series of visits accompanied by Tessa Stroude, PAHO’s in-Country Program Specialist.

Her schedule has included meetings with Minister for Health, Sen. Ann Peters; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Isaac Bhagwan; and various heads of department in the health ministry.

Dr. Lewis is also visiting several projects and institutions operated by the Ministry of Health.


The Director is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Merle Lewis as the PAHO/WHO Representative in the Office of Eastern Caribbean Coordination (ECC), effective 10 August 2011.

Dr. Lewis, a national of Trinidad and Tobago, obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology and Chemistry from the University of the West Indies in 1976, and a Master of Public Health from Yale University, graduating with honors in 1980.  In 1983, she was awarded a Pan American Health Organization Fellowship to attend the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where in 1988 she obtained a Doctoral Degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Immunology and Infectious Diseases.

In 1981, Dr. Lewis began her professional career at the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Health, first as an Epidemiologist and later as the Administrative Head of Trinidad and Tobago Public Health Laboratory (TPHL). After completing her doctoral degree at Johns Hopkins, she returned to the Ministry of Health as the Director of the TPHL and its associated National Surveillance Unit.

She began her collaboration with PAHO/WHO in 1994 as an Epidemiologist at the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. In 1996, she was promoted to Manager of the Epidemiology Division of CAREC, and in 2001 she was recruited as a Short Term Consultant by the Chronic Non-communicable Diseases Unit at PAHO’s Headquarters in Washington, DC.

In November 2001, Dr. Lewis was appointed as a Public Health Specialist in the Chronic Non-communicable Diseases Unit, where she focused mainly on cervical cancer prevention and control. In 2005, she continued to work as a Public Health Specialist in the Immunization Unit of the Family and Community Health Area at PAHO.

In February 2008, she was appointed as the PAHO/WHO Representative for The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, a position that she will hold until the date of this new appointment.


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