OECS Member States reminded to make good and efficient use of the Global Fund for combatting HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 — Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Health recently hosted the signing of a Grant Agreement between the Global Fund and the OECS Regional Coordinating Mechanism regarding the OECS response to HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.

The OECS Commission as the Principal Recipient or PR will be overseeing disbursements to fund the various national programmes in the six independent OECS Member States guided by the Regional Coordinating mechanism (RCM).

Saint Lucia’s Health Minister Hon. Alvina Reynolds, in her capacity as Chair of the RCM presided over the signing ceremony.

Ms. Joan Didier, the Director of the OECS Regional Coordinating mechanism or RCM says for the past two years her organisation has been working with OECS countries in developing a proposal to the Global Fund to support government agencies and civil society organisations towards mitigating the spread HIV AIDS and Tuberculosis in the OECS. The RCM is advising the beneficiaries of the funds that the monies will be available once they ensure that their projects are completed in an efficient and timely manner.

The Head of the OECS Commission’s HIV Project Unit, Dr. James St. Catherine commended Saint Lucia’s Health Minister for her input in securing another contribution from the Global Fund towards mitigating the spread of HIV AIDS and Tuberculosis in the OECS.He projects that if the OECS can eliminate HIV and Tuberculosis, similar strategies can help the health sector in dealing with other diseases that impact the region.

In anticipating that Global Fund support will not always be accessible in the future, Dr. St. Catherine suggested that urgent attention be given to re-engineering and sustaining national programmes using domestic resources towards eliminating HIV and Tuberculosis in the OECS.