Health & Wellbeing
JM | Sep 19, 2022

Jamaica recognised for HIV/AIDS fight

/ Our Today

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Health Connect Jamaica singled out for special mention

Dr Richard N Amenyah, regional director of the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.

Jamaica has been singled out for recognition for its efforts in combating HIV/AIDS.

Dr Richard N Amenyah, regional director of the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), has commended the island for its HIV/AIDS fight in particular, the work done by Health Connect Jamaica (HCJ), which was established in October 2019.

The mandate of HCJ is to increase access to HIV-specific primary health services and is located in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

It is funded by the United States President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, through the United States Agency for International Development. The activity brings Jamaica’s private sector healthcare providers into national HIV epidemic control efforts.

“This is cause for celebration and [augurs well] for the future of the HIV response in Jamaica if we have private sector contributing like the way we have today.”

Dr Richard N Amenyah, regional director of the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS

Speaking at the recent HCJ inaugural dinner and awards banquet, Amenyah acknowledged the significant contribution of private sector stakeholders in the national HIV/AIDS response, inclusive of the members of the HCJ network.

“This is cause for celebration and [augurs well] for the future of the HIV response in Jamaica if we have private sector contributing like the way we have today,” he said.

The HCJ network comprises private doctors, laboratories, pharmacies, and psychologists who provide clients with HIV clinical treatment and additional support services. For the fiscal year 2022-23, the Government is spending J$1 billion on the National HIV/AIDS Response in Jamaica Project.

Reducing AIDS-related morbidity

This effort seeks to reduce AIDS-related morbidity and mortality through effective biomedical and supportive interventions, as well as to reduce new HIV infections among key populations through behavioral and structural initiatives.

Amenyah applauded the award recipients for their professionalism, love, and care for their patients, noting that they are impacting lives.

According to him, “this is the future of healthcare. Thank you for the work that you put into this”.

Health Connect Jamaica is building a network of clinicians that target HIV/AIDS patients.

The network models ways in which the private sector can play an official role in Jamaica’s vision for multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS care, as described in the country’s HIV National Strategic Plan.

The dinner and awards function themed ‘Celebrating Innovation and Achievement,’ recognised the HCJ network’s triumphs in Jamaica as well as the stakeholders who have worked to provide quick, private, and affordable access to HIV treatment and care services.

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