OECS Secretariat announces arrival of third shipment of HIV/AIDS medication

Antiretroviral medications arrive

OECS Secretariat, Castries St. Lucia – The OECS Secretariat has received a third batch of antiretroviral medicines from Brazil to treat Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV).

Francis Burnett who heads the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service says the medicines will assist patients in controlling the virus and reducing mortality: “The evidence is there that the patients being treated with antiretroviral medicines have been living a longer life. It has decreased the mortality and morbidity rate of PLHIVs. We have clear evidence. In fact, in the OECS, there are clearly documented instances where the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV/AIDS have been decreased and partly attributed to the use of ARVs in the OECS, at least for the past five years. We could say now, we boast of an uninterrupted supply of ARVs and patients can be guaranteed continuous treatment because it’s important to have full adherence.”

The antiretroviral medicines component is part of a long term technical agreement between the OECS and the Government of Brazil. The donation is valued 250 thousand EC dollars

Burnett is pleased with the ongoing arrangement, adding that the five year cooperative agreement with the government of Brazil regarding the donation of ARVs to the OECS Member States will be reviewed in March of this year: “We expect to have a successful evaluation followed by a two year extension of the cooperative agreement with the government of Brazil.”-Burnett

The first shipment of ARVs from Brazil was received in 2007 with a second shipment in 2008.

Head of OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Services, Francis Burnett

The contribution of antiretroviral medicines from the Government of Brazil complements ARVs received from the Clinton Foundation and the Global Fund. The United Nations Children’s Fund programme (UNICEF) is fully financing the trans-shipment of the ARVs from Brazil to Saint Lucia and the other eight OECS Member States.

Approximately 530 patients in the OECS Region, including 20 children, below 13 years, are being treated with antiretroviral medicines.

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1 Comment

  1. ron
    January 25, 2010

    That’s very good news for the plwha”s! i take this time off to tell people to get tested for hiv, you have a chance of a longer life

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