US Gov’t pledges $300M to support Guyana’s fight against HIV
-will help Guyana reach 90-90-90 goal
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony says the Government is grateful for the approximately $300 million (US $1.5 million) grant to support the fight against HIV in Guyana.
Minister Anthony made this statement following a guided tour of the National Care and Treatment Centre (NCTC) on Friday, which was built with support from the United States (US) Government.
The Minister was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Her Excellency, Sarah-Ann Lynch and NCTC Director, Dr. Abiola Jacobs.
The grant, which comes directly from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), will help Guyana to reach the 90-90-90 goal. The goal is to ensure that 90 per cent of all people living with HIV know their status; 90 per cent of those diagnosed will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 per cent will experience viral suppression.
“So, for us to really work to achieve the 90-90-90 and even to get to the 95-95-95 by 2025, there is still a lot of work to do and that’s why it’s so important that this grant is coming at this time, this extension of the US$1.5 million.
It is going to help us focus on all three of these 90s and try and get us close to where we ought to be, and even aspire to get to 95-95-95,” Minister Anthony said.
He said Government is very grateful for the partnership.
“When we talk about this partnership, it’s really a deep and profound one. It goes back many years, and we have been able to build capacity so that we could manage and do so many things … We do value this partnership.
We had various U.S. Agencies that came to Guyana: CDC and others and of course a number of universities who came here and worked very closely with us,” Dr. Anthony said.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Lynch said the U.S. Government was also proud of its long-standing relationship with Guyana.
“Since 2004, via the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – or PEPFAR, has provided more than $185 million to support HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment services in Guyana, and we are thrilled to be able to provide an additional $1.5 million to support the fight against HIV in Guyana,” the Ambassador said.
Ambassador Lynch added that funding will support the Ministry of Health and civil society partners through September 2022.
The U.S. Ambassador also commended all partners; the Ministry, civil society, faith-based organisations and private clinicians for this exceptional effort during the pandemic. She said many persons, including the staff at the NCTC have been pulling double duty for more than a year to respond to the dual pandemics of HIV and COVID-19.
The U.S. has worked closely with Guyana on multi-million-dollar programmes for education, prevention, and treatment for those persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, contributing significantly to the country’s healthcare capacity.