The OECS Secretariat has recognized the work of Dr. Paul Ricketts who served as Dominica’s National Epidemiologist for over 16 years.
Dr. Ricketts passed away on September 16, 2017, and was recognized during the OECS Council of Ministers of Health held in Martinique last week.
An award was presented to Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, on the behalf of his family.
At a ceremony on Monday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Davis Letang, said Dr. Ricketts was recognized for his “sterling contribution to health” and his work in Dominica and the wider region.
“Dr. Rickett’s work transcends not just the Dominican boundary, the OECS, the region, but his work was recognized internationally … by PAHO and a number of other health organizations,” he stated.
He added, “I recall at his farewell service, that the honorable minister (of health) indicated that our thank you to Dr. Ricketts has to be how well we live his dream, his dream to ensure that we had a fully integrated health information system for Dominica…”
Dr. Ricketts’ wife, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr. Hazel Shillingford-Ricketts, said her husband was “very passionate about developing a sustainable information system for health not only for Dominica but for the Caribbean and the Americas.”
“A system for data management,” she explained. “This system which encompassed all other areas which impact the health of our people…as a medical epidemiologist he relied on data to monitor national health status. This data also allowed for evidence-based management of health threats.”
She stated that the award also recognizes the staff and the Health Information Unit who has been of great assistance to Dr. Ricketts.
“We know his vision will transcend time, and inspire new generations to come to further what he started,” Dr. Shillingford-Rickets remarked.