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Guyana: Ministry of Health meets PAHO representatives and discusses SMART hospital training

Guyana: Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, met with the representative of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Guyana, Dr. Luis Felipe Codina, organization and other representatives of the SMART Hospital team for a debrief meeting on the SMART Hospital Maintenance Training on Thursday afternoon.

The Minister was informed that the two-day training, held at Guyana Mariott in Kingston, Georgetown, saw the participation of 19 healthcare workers from regions one, three, four, eight and nine.

Participants also participated in hands-on exercises at Lenora Cottage Hospital in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara and at the Diamond Diagnostic Center 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 PAHO/WHO, “The Smart Hospital initiative builds on the Safe Hospital initiative and focuses on improving hospital resilience, strengthening structural and operational aspects, and providing green technologies to ensure that the facility remains functional during emergencies and disasters”.

The Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) has opened its first “Share Fair” under the theme “Optimizing treatment and improving the quality of care for people living with HIV using dolutegravir (DTG) as the preferred first-line treatment.

The knowledge sharing event held at the Grand Coastal Hotel aims to optimize HIV treatment with the use of dolutegravir (DTG) and to share experiences from the National AIDS Program Secretariat (NAPS), medical clinics and civil society organizations.

The two-day event is funded by the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Participants include representatives from Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of the Department of Health, said the HIV landscape is changing as there are competing interests for funding; these include the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This, he said, has led to the reordering of priorities and resources within organizations such as the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the President’s Emergency Plan. United for the Fight Against AIDS (PEPFAR).

Dr Anthony has also advocated for a change in colonial legislation in the Caribbean region, which prevents organizations from accessing people in need of HIV/AIDS care and treatment.

“The United Kingdom (UK) has since completely changed its legislation, that’s where our legislation comes from,” explained the minister.

Meanwhile, Collin Kirton, officer in charge of the PANCAP Coordination Unit, said the fair share was aimed at increasing participants’ understanding of the progress of the transition to a DTG-based frontline regiment and its uses. among special populations that include adolescent children and pregnant women.

Kirton further said that even though the region is now recovering from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, PANCAP is still aiming to achieve that 95-95-95 target.

This target, set by UNAIDS, implies that at least 90% of the population knows their status, that at least 90% of positive cases are on treatment and that at least 90% of people on treatment have a viral load. removed by the year. 2030.

Also present were Dr Luis Felipe Codina – Representative of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Guyana, and Dr Shanti Singh-Anthony – Coordinator, Knowledge Management at the coordination of PANCAP.