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Gov't collaborates to strengthen national response to HIV/AIDS

GIS - Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Tuesday, March 20 – Plans are underway to improve the quality of life for the people of the Virgin Islands by further strengthening of the Territory’s response to HIV/AIDS through a multi-sector planning workshop being facilitated in cooperation with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

The two-day workshop is designed to lay the foundation for more effective multi-sectoral collaboration in the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS in the Virgin Islands, and to facilitate greater integration with national and regional goals.

The Virgin Islands will benefit from the expertise of Mr. Roger McLean of the Health Economics Unit of the University of the West Indies, the consultant contracted by the Pan American Health Organization HIV Caribbean Office (PHCO) to facilitate this process.

The workshop will be held on Thursday, March 22 and Friday, March 23 at the Training Division to develop a national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS. Members of the House of Assembly, and officials from the public and private health, tourism and finance sectors, are invited to participate, along with persons representing non-governmental organisations, civil society and faith-based organisations.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Mrs. Petrona Davies spoke with the Department of Information and Public Relations and stated, “The development of a National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS is a key deliverable of the Ministry’s strategic plan, and the Territory’s participation in the European Commission’s HIV Project for Overseas Country Territories.”

The National Strategic Plan for HIV is expected to outline the strategic direction of the national HIV response for the Virgin Islands, by clearly defining key strategic objectives and activities to achieve the goals of the plan over the next five years.

According to National AIDS Programme Coordinator, Mrs. Noelene Levons-Clarke, a national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS is a key instrument, since approximately 250,000 people in the region are currently living with HIV, with 20,000 new infections and 12,000 deaths annually from AIDS-related illnesses.

AIDS, the late stage of HIV infection, is still the leading cause of death in the Caribbean for persons between the ages of 15 and 44 years which represents the age of the primary work force and reproductive population.

Mrs. Levons-Clarke noted that through the development of a national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS, the Territory’s could be better implemented and monitored across all sectors of the community to mitigate the effects of the disease on the population.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development endeavours to provide leadership that promotes health, social well-being and a safe environment.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by bvinews.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of bvinews.com, its sponsors or advertisers.



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