PM returns from HIV/Aids meeting in Aruba

POSTED: 09/10/12 12:56 AM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams returned from Aruba on Saturday where she chaired the steering committee and planning meeting of the European Community’s oversees Caribbean territories (OCT) in her role of territorial authorizing officer. Main topic on the agenda was the fight against HIV/Aids in the region.
The Dutch and British OCT’s reviewed the mid-term evaluation report about controlling HI/Aids and the report of the monitoring mission. Both reports were produced as part of the EC- sponsored program “Strengthening the integration of the British and Dutch OCTs in the regional response to HIV/Aids within the Pancap framework.
“One of the main events took place on Friday morning when the steering committee met to review the reports, the concluded activities of year three and the work plan for year four,” Wescot-Williams said in a press release from her cabinet. The previous steering committee meeting was held in 2010 when St. Maarten was still part of the Netherlands Antilles.
Critical issues debated during the meeting were the sustainability of the program and the HIV/Aids responses in the territories, the integration of national programs and regional collaboration in the face of limited human and financial resources. There were also sessions about human rights and health information systems.
Paho, the Pan American Health Organization, is responsible for the program’s execution. St. Maarten will be formally joining this organization within short.
The Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Jorien Wuite, and HIV/Aids program manager Suzette Moses-Burton also attended the two-day meeting. Participants included representatives from the British and Dutch Overseas Caribbean Territories and community advocates from St. Maarten, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Venezuela.

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