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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jean Dixon, has appealed to all partners involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, to continue to give their support especially in a climate where resources are limited.
“No one can deny the enormous contribution of international and regional partners in the response to the AIDS epidemic. We could not have reached thus far without the influence of our partners. We must do nothing to negate the gains that we have made,” Dr. Dixon stated.
She was speaking on Tuesday (October 19) at the opening of the four-day HIV/AIDS Programme Retreat at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay. The Ministry of Health, along with its partners and stakeholders are reviewing the position of the National HIV/STI Programme in a number of areas under the theme: ‘Partnership for an effective and sustainable response’.
Dr. Dixon said the deliberations must focus on how to sustain the national programme in an environment of declining budgets and how to maintain existing partnerships as the country looked to the future. “The future of the national programme will be determined by your deliberations,” she stated.
Country Representative for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Earnest Pate, acknowledged that the countries in the region face “quite significant financial constraints,” which put a strain on their ability to undertake the interventions needed to control HIV/AIDS.
“This has brought about the need to examine the sustainability of our programmes that are being run not just by the United Nations agencies but by the international developmental partners. One of the things that we really need to look at in our response to HIV/AIDS in Jamaica .is how to effectively use the limited resources that is available in this area . which is shrinking.
“If we are going to maintain the programmes that are desperately needed in this sub region, we would really need to look at how to effectively use those limited resources, but also how to partner with the many agencies, so that we, in actual fact, decrease the overlap and also some of the inappropriate use of the limited resources,” Dr. Pate said.