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OECS member states collaborating to eliminate HIV and Tuberculosis

img: The six OECS, 15 CARICOM and 12 Commonwealth Caribbean member-states will be expected to come out of the current 37th CARICOM Summit, under way in Guyana, with plans to address the expected Brexit Caribbean blowout, which offers both challenges and opportunities for new relationships with Britain and the EU.

THE OECS Commission has partnered with the Pan American Health Organization and the Global Fund to implement a program aiming at eliminating tuberculosis and HIV in the Eastern Caribbean.

The US $5 million TB/HIV project funded by the Global Fund will operate in six participating OECS Member States: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint-Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada with outcomes and lessons learnt being applied to other Member States.

Representatives of the countries recently convened to provide an update on project progress to all stakeholders.

Dr. Cleophas d’Auvergne, Project Coordinator of the HIV/TB Elimination Project at the OECS Commission introduced newly developed regional TB/HIV Clinical Guidelines.

“We presented the newly developed OECS TB/HIV Clinical Guidelines to be endorsed by the Member States as a document that can be used as a model for others.

“We also aimed to finalize the TB elimination plans of countries, as well as to agree on specific implementation activities for 2018” said Dr.d’Auvergne.

The guidelines aim at harmonizing the processes of prevention, control and treatment of tuberculosis and HIV among all the participating countries.

Dr. Davy, Clinical Care Coordinator for TB/HIV in Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines explained that the guidelines are prominent for medical practitioners.

“The project allows us to concentrate our efforts on major improvements to elimination efforts.

“Before we had the guidelines, some health professionals were attaining a diagnosis in an incorrect way.

One case of tuberculosis is one too much in this modern day and age” said Dr. Davy.

In the case of Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Davy concluded by stating that an average of 7 cases of tuberculosis were recorded annually in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

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