Guyana: Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, met with the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) Guyana Representative, Dr Luis Felipe Codina, Organisation and other Representatives from the SMART Hospital Team for a debriefing meeting on the recently concluded SMART Hospital Maintenance Training on Thursday afternoon.
The Minister was informed that the two-day training, which was held at the Guyana Mariott in Kingston, Georgetown saw the participation of 19 health care workers from Regions One, Three, Four, Eight and Nine.
Participants were also involved in practical exercises at the Lenora Cottage Hospital in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara and the Diamond Diagnostic Centre in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
Both health facilities would have benefited from upgrades funded by the Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and implemented by PAHO/WHO in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
According to the PAHO/WHO, the ‘Smart Hospital initiative builds on the Safe Hospital Initiative and focuses on improving hospitals’ resilience, strengthening structural and operational aspects and providing green technologies to ensure the facility remains functional during emergencies and disasters.’
Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) opened its first ‘Share Fair ‘under the theme, “Optimising treatment and improving the quality of care for People Living with HIV using Dolutegravir (DTG) as the preferred first-line therapy.”
The knowledge-sharing event held at Grand Coastal Hotel is geared at optimising HIV treatment with the use of Dolutegravir (DTG) and sharing experiences from the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS), medical clinics, and civil society organisations.
The two days event is being funded by United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Among those participating are representatives from Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados.
Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of the Ministry of Health, stated that the landscape for HIV is changing since there is competing interest for funding; these include the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 pandemic.
This he said has led to the rearranging of priorities and resources within organisations such as the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Dr Anthony also advocated for a change in the colonial legislation within the Caribbean region since it prevents organisations from accessing persons who need HIV/AIDS care and treatment.
“The United Kingdom (UK) has since changed their legislations completely, that’s where our legislation originated”, the Minister explained.
Meanwhile, Collin Kirton, Officer-in-Charge, PANCAP Coordinating Unit, said the Fair Share is aimed at increasing participants’ understanding of the progress in the transitioning to a DTG-based first-line regiment and its uses among special populations which include children adolescents, and pregnant women.
Kirton further stated that even though the region is now recovering from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, PANCAP is still aiming to achieve that 95-95-95 target.
This target, set by UNAIDS entails that at least 90% of the population should know their status, at least 90% of the positive cases should be on treatment, and at least 90% of those persons on treatment should be virally suppressed by the year 2030.
Also in attendance were Dr Luis Felipe Codina – Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) Guyana Representative, and Dr Shanti Singh-Anthony- Coordinator, Knowledge Management at PANCAP Coordinating Unit.