Jamaica launches globally

Jamaica launches globally

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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THE National Family Planning Board (NFPB) has launched the Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention (PHDP) Framework and Annual Implementation Plan to assist people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The globally recognised model puts infected persons at the centre of managing their health and well-being by linking HIV treatment, prevention, support and care issues within a human rights framework.

The PHDP emphasises the importance of addressing prevention and treatment simultaneously and holistically.

It is supported through a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) grant.

The intention is to reposition the PHDP into the ambit of a multisectoral response to HIV in Jamaica.

This in light of the global target to eliminate AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, and to influence the vision for health care delivery in the future to client-centredness.

Addressing the framework’s launch at Mona Visitors’ Lodge and Conference Centre in St Andrew on March 25, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said its introduction and the discussions surrounding HIV will spark a decline in the virus’ prevalence.

“It will also enhance the capacity of persons living with the virus to contribute positively to the growth and wealth of their local community and country,” he said.

Dr Tufton commended the NFPB for its seminal role in piloting the framework, which also supports the ministry’s ‘Test, Treat and Stay’ initiative.

He noted that this is consistent with the 2016 World Health Organization (WHO) Consolidated Guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis and care of key populations.

Meanwhile, NFPB Executive Director Lovette Byfield said the agency is committed to empowering its clients, particularly persons living with HIV.

“We are also committed to supporting and promoting universal health coverage — including integrated, patient-centred health services that will enable universal access to sexual and reproductive health. This includes family planning as well as the integration of reproductive health into our national strategies and programmes,” she said.

Byfield noted that the NFPB is resolute in supporting “strong multisectoral partnerships aimed at not just ending the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), but reducing incidents of stigma and discrimination in Jamaica”.

She added that the agency will continue to lobby for funding and other resources to support the development of robust, sustainable programmes that support community systems and efforts.

For her part, officer in charge at UNAIDS Jamaica Office, Dr NKhensani Mathabathe congratulated the NFPB and the division responsible for bringing the framework to fruition.

“The PHDP strategy calls for strengthening leadership and the involvement of people living with HIV across all aspects of the national response. This strategy has to help us get to a point where we see less new HIV infections and the elimination of mother- to -child transmission,” she said.

Dr Mathabathe emphasised that the strategy must make a tangible difference for people living with HIV.

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