Friday, 18 November 2022 (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana): 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, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (Guyana), provided thirty-three (33) programme planners and health care service providers with the opportunity to complete the Clinical Management of HIV programme offered by the Global Health E-Learning Program, University of Washington.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported the initiative.
A graduation ceremony was held on 2 November in Georgetown. Mr Collin Kirton, Officer-in-Charge, PANCAP Coordinating Unit, acknowledged the dedication of the graduates and the invaluable contributions of development partners. “I wish to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to PEPFAR/USAID for their continued contribution to the regional fight against HIV and AIDS in general and for funding this capacity-building initiative, in particular,” stated Mr Kirton, “to the graduates, working and studying is never easy, so we applaud your efforts and perseverance. I urge you to utilise your newly acquired skills and knowledge to make meaningful contributions to the national HIV response, as Guyana and the Region strive to achieve the 95-95-95 Targets and end AIDS by 2030”.
Dr Tariq Jagnarine, Programme Manager, National AIDS Programme Secretariat, Guyana, explained that the course was facilitated by experts from around the world who illustrated best practices and new research in HIV management; local site facilitators guided participants through best practices and case studies relevant to Guyana.
Dr Jagnarine also highlighted that all thirty-three (33) participants completed the course and attained scores above 70%. Each participant was allocated 7.5 Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits. He also explained that the successful completion of the course would facilitate the placement of healthcare workers in areas with deficits, especially Guyana’s Hinterland Region. “Five (5) new care and treatment sites will now be better equipped with trained staff to offer best practice care for HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) with a focus on responding to the direct needs of the communities being served,” stated the Programme Manager.
Dr Shanti Singh-Anthony, Coordinator, Knowledge Management, PANCAP Coordinating Unit, shared that PANCAP also facilitated a cohort of sixty (60) participants from Belize and thirty-five (35) through the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC). 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, Dr Singh-Anthony shared that seventy (70) persons are currently enrolled in two (2) courses on Leadership in Health and Policy and Advocacy in Health. “Going forward, we plan to offer other courses, including a specialisation in monitoring and evaluation”, stated the Coordinator.
The collaboration with the Global Health E-Learning Program, University of Washington, forms part of PANCAP’s wider regional capacity-building programme to strengthen national HIV responses.