Friday, 29 April 2022 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, will provide over one hundred (100) programme planners and health care service providers from the Region with the opportunity to complete programmes on Clinical Management of HIV and Leadership and Management in Public Health with the Global Health E-Learning Program (eDGH), University of Washington.
Supported by the PANCAP-USAID Project via USAID Jamaica, the capacity building initiative commenced in 2021 with eighteen (18) clinical and public health practitioners completing the Clinical Management of HIV course.
The second cohort consists of sixty (60) participants from Belize, forty-five (45) from the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and thirty-four (34) from Guyana.
Orientation sessions held in April focused on guidance on how to utilise the virtual platform and encouraging participants to use the knowledge gained to boost the Region’s HIV response. Mr Ivan Cruickskank, Executive Director, CVC, stated that he was pleased to collaborate with PANCAP. He explained that CVC coordinated access to the Leadership and Management of Public Health course for participants from eight (8) countries, including Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Martinique, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, and Suriname. In addition, the Executive Director emphasised the importance of building the capacity of all players in the HIV response and viewing all stakeholders as critical contributors to ending AIDS.
Mr. Enrique Romero, Executive Director, National AIDS Commission (NAC) Secretariat, Belize, underscored the importance of learning and knowledge building to Belize’s HIV National Strategic Plan (NSP). Dr. Tariq Jagnarine, Programme Manager, National AIDS Programme Secretariat, Ministry of Health, Guyana, urged participants to share the knowledge gained with other Public Health stakeholders as Guyana prepares to implement several significant projects, including an HIV self-testing (HIVST) Pilot.
Dr. Rhonda Moore expressed her gratitude to PANCAP and the National AIDS Programme (Guyana) for the opportunity to enhance her skills in HIV management. She stated that the course was happening at an ideal time as programme implementers are challenged with returning the focus to HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) while the Region recovers from COVID-19.
Providing critical stakeholders in the HIV response with access to the courses forms part of PANCAP’s overarching strategy to protect and maintain the gains made in the HIV response.