BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Thursday October 8, 2015 – By the end of this year, St. Kitts and Nevis is expected to be among a few countries recording no transmission of HIV from mother to child.
That’s according to Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris who said the accomplishment would be “significant” and “momentous”.
He made the comments as he addressed the issue of the support systems provided for mothers in St. Kitts and Nevis, particularly free anti-retroviral medications.
“That support has had the desired impact and we would want to continue these and to ensure that the treatment and the medicines for those who are victims of HIV/AIDS continue to be made available, at affordable prices, so that more people can use them and therefore can sustain their life,” he said.
Harris, who is also the CARICOM lead spokesperson on health and human resource and HIV/AIDS, said that he had been able to appeal to the global community to support the work of the Joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), as well as the health institutions in the region. He noted that these agencies had made significant advancement toward the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region.
“In particular, the Caribbean region, stands a very good chance of being the first region in the entire world to achieve an end to AIDS by 2030,” he said. “That would be a remarkable achievement adding to other firsts which the Caribbean had enjoyed, such as being the firsts region to achieve an end to polio.”
If that is realized, the Kittitian leader added, it would speak volumes for “the functional cooperation that exists in the area of health within the CARICOM region”.
“When compared to other regions, our own approach to these difficult issues has been one that has led to efficacious outcomes,” he said.