Public Health Ministry can adjust in event US fund is cut for HIV/AIDS – Minister Harmon

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Ministry of Public Health would be able to adjust to any repercussions of possible funding cut from the United States (US) for HIV/AIDS programmes in Guyana.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon responded thus to questions asked by media operatives  in relation to the country’s preparedness in the event of the US slashing funding for a number of global aid health programmes.

Minister Harmon speaking at a post-Cabinet media briefing today, explained that, “I am sure that at the Ministry of Public Health that those adjustments will be made, but what I can say also is that even while administrations can make public pronouncements, there is a process through which it goes and that pronouncement actually becomes a reality, and within the period of the pronouncement and the action taking place that the countries that are affected by them are given an opportunity to make adjustments to the country’s programme and regional programmes.”

The minister further noted that the US is part of a larger funding group which lends significant support to the HIV/AIDS programme locally. Moreover, he said from time to time, funds are either cut or added by various international funding programmes. He further noted that Guyana among other countries in the region would have to foresee solutions to what may be if there are financial cuts to the HIV/AIDS programme.

However, US President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint indicates that “sufficient resources are provided to maintain current commitments and all current patient levels on HIV/AIDS treatment under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).”

PEPFAR is the US’s global heath programme to combat HIV/AIDS around the world and the largest commitment by any country dedicated to a single disease. The programme funds daily lifesaving anti-retroviral treatment for 11.5 million people around the world.

By: Delicia Haynes