Jamaica: Ministry of Health to extend clinic timings for excessive care to HIV patients

Jamaica: Ministry of Health to extend clinic timings for excessive care to HIV patients
Jamaica: Ministry of Health to extend clinic timings for excessive care to HIV patients

The timings of the clinics would be extended following the new changes made by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The clinics would remain open for an extra hour so that health workers could treat the persons affected with HIV and also cure them mentally and reduce social tension from their minds.

Dr Rebekah Hoilett Duncan, Acting Director of the Treatment, Care and Support Component of the HIV/STI Unit at the Ministry, said that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the extended clinic hours were reduced, and again from the approaching month of October, patients would be given more time for care till December.

Dr Hoilett Duncan stated during the Treatment, Care and Support Annual Programme, held virtually from September 20 to 23, that the Ministry would be supporting each and every initiative through which they would be ensuring that the patients would remain under the care for more time that would be easing the health officials to reduce the stigma against them at medical facilities. This statement was given at the end of the virtually held programme.

Organisations represented at the forum include the United States (US) President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Caribbean Training and Education Centre for Health (C-TECH), Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), and Jamaica Network of Seropositives (JN+).

Dr Hoilett Duncan said, “We are all striving to get all persons living with HIV in Jamaica in care, whether in the public setting, our civil society organisations, or private care. We want to get you in care, so you can be on antiretroviral medication and achieve viral suppression so that you can live your best life.”

The HIV Treatment, Care and Support Programme is the helping department of the national HIV/STI/TB programme. This programme is being run with the main goal to continue management of HIV/STI/TB programmes and ensuring universal access to therapy, care and support services for people living with the infection.