Three-year grant to assist elimination of STIs
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
by Fernelle Neptune, Ministry of Education

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States–Regional Coordinating Mechanism (OECS-RCM) is making preparations to sign another three-year grant proposal with Global Fund, aimed at eliminating HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The project will operate in six participating OECS member states: St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada.

Project Coordinator for the OECS HIV/TB Grant, Dr. Cleophas D’Auvergne highlighted the goals of this project.

“The major goals of the grant is to reduce the incidence of HIV in line with the 90-90-90 targets and also move towards TB elimination using a framework for low incidence countries, because most of the OECS countries are low incidence countries,” he explained. “The second goal is more less trying to improve services for key populations for HIV and TB and STIs, ensuring that these services are accessible and affordable.”

Minister for Health and Wellness, Sen. Hon. Mary Isaac, said the project is extremely important to Saint Lucia as it addresses a critical need for persons with HIV, TB and STIs.

“This grant is aimed at assisting persons living with HIV as well as TB and other STIs. This is a population that we usually don’t remember exist, but they are quite challenged in that there is a lot of stigma attached to these people. So, funding like that comes at a time when it is extremely critical that these people get the funding, so that they can purchase their medication; and any other health issues they might have, they can take care of through those funds.”

The three-year project, spanning April 2019 to April 2022, is co-funded by the Global Fund to the tune of over US$5.5 million. The overall aim is to overcome HIV, TB and STIs as a public health threat by 2022.