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A contract valued at US$538,011 (approximately J$34,432,704) has been awarded to LASCO Distributors Limited to provide anti-retroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients under the HIV/AIDS Treatment, Prevention and Policy project.
Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman who made the announcement at yesterday’s (Feb. 13) post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, informed that the contract would result in LASCO providing some six weeks supply of the drugs, following which a new contract would be negotiated either with LASCO or a new bidder.
He pointed out that there was an on-going programme to put these contracts to tender coming out of the Global Fund, which has been supporting Jamaica’s efforts in its fight against HIV/AIDS as well as other diseases across the globe.
“This is the pattern of the Global Fund as they require that there be ongoing tendering for the supply of these drugs to ensure that there is not only timely supply but also that there is also no commitment over a long time to any one particular entity,” the Minister explained.
The Global Fund initiative allows for the provision of drugs to both children and adults and also supports the promotion of safe sex practices, including abstinence and the other forms of contraception, especially among the sub population and marginalized groups, who tend to be most vulnerable.
The national response to prevent the spread of, and address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Jamaica, will be done through scaling up efforts to provide anti-retroviral drugs to persons living with HIV/AIDS; promote safer sex practices, including abstinence; complete and implement policies and a legislative framework specifically addressing stigma and discrimination aimed at persons living with HIV/AIDS and vulnerable high risk groups as well as an overall national policy and workplace policies.