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PANCAP defines its role in fight against HIV/AIDS


A meeting to sensitize government officials and the public of the role and importance of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS was held recently at the Ministry of Health Conference Room.

Director of PANCAP Carl Browne said that, many people do not know about PANCAP and its role. He said the main challenge is getting people to understand the function of PANCAP. This, he added, is part of the reason the organization embarked on a public awareness campaign throughout the Caribbean.{{more}}

Browne said that the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community established the organization in February 2001. Its mandate is to coordinate the regional response to HIV/AIDS to support programme with focus on regional goods and to mobilize resources to respond to HIV/AIDS.

The director said the organization over the past five years has assisted in funding scholarships in degree courses relating to HIV/AIDS. PANCAP provided financial assistance for HIV/AIDS related courses at the University of the West Indies and each year 2,000 students will be graduating in courses which include the study of HIV/AIDS.

He said in 2002 in the Barcelona Agreement, PANCAP successfully negotiated with several pharmaceutical companies to cut the cost of anti-retroviral drugs from US$10,000 per person to US$200.

PANCAP also contributed US$215,000 for the purchase of one mobile Blood Bank Unit for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The organization is also involved in the procurement of its own funds by developing and submitting projects to donor agencies.