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Health ministry increases funding to HIV/STI programme

Published:Friday | April 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The latest report on the National HIV/STI Programme (NHP) indicates that there is generally a downward trend in the number of Jamaicans living with HIV/AIDS.

The success of the programme has, however, resulted in a change in funding from international donor organisations. Dr Nicola Skyers, senior medical officer of the NHP, indicated that the Ministry of Health has increased its budgetary allocation to the programme to deal with these changes in funding.

"A fair amount of what we do is externally funded, but we have received an increase for the National HIV/STI programme, so the Government is gradually subsuming more and more of the cost associated with HIV/STI management," she said.

The change in funding can also be attributed to the fact that Jamaica has achieved upper middle income country status.

"The funding from donor organisations has been directed for the areas of greatest need, so we no longer receive funding to do general work, but the funding is more targeted," Skyers added.

She also disclosed that donor organisations have channelled funding to focus on groups that are at greatest risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.