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HIV/AIDS patients in SVG to benefit as Brazil gives OECS antiretroviral medicines

HIV/AIDS patients in SVG to benefit as Brazil gives OECS antiretroviral medicines

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St Vincent and the Grenadines and the rest of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will benefit from US$142,000 in antiretroviral medicines from Brazil.{{more}}

The drugs, used to treat HIV/AIDS patients, were handed over to the OECS Secretariat in St Lucia last week.

This consignment is the fifth and final shipment of essential medicines under a cooperative agreement signed at the OECS Secretariat in 2006.

At the handover ceremony in Castries on Wednesday, Joaquim Augusto Whitaker Salles, Brazil’s ambassador to the OECS, said he pleased that the medicine has helped so many people in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

“I feel highly honoured to know that these consignments have saved and will also save Caribbean lives … It is an enduring commitment that Brazil will make sure to preserve and continue for the mutual benefit of our peoples,” he said.

Accepting the shipment, Francis Burnett, head of the OECS Secretariat’s Pharmaceutical Procurement Service, credited the South-South partnership for strengthening the OECS members’ capacity to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS.

“This donation complements our other efforts from the global fund in providing a wide consortium of antiretroviral medicines for our patients,” Burnett said.

“Although this shipment initially represents the final consignment in the second phase, we are hopeful that the Government of Brazil may perhaps wish to entertain maybe some form of dialogue and negotiation towards an extension of this contribution perhaps to phase three.”

Burnett added that OECS governments are grateful to Brazil for the generous contribution.

The shipment will be distributed to the nine OECS members with the financial assistance of UNICEF-Barbados.

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