New HIV care centre opens at KPH
JAMAICA’S HIV/AIDS treatment programme has been boosted with the opening of a new care facility at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) on Tuesday.
Valued at more than $9 million, the facility is a donation of three retrofitted 20-foot containers made possible by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
It will offer prevention, treatment, and support services as part of Jamaica’s national HIV programme.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton said that the new space will ensure more privacy during consultations, and build confidence in patient care and service delivery.
He said it will create an enabling environment for treatment, which will go a far way in overcoming the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV.
Tufton hailed the support from international partners such as the CDC to the country’s health system over the years.
“It has been quite significant and we appreciate it and say thanks,” he said.
United States Ambassador to Jamaica Nick Perry, in his remarks, said the US Government is committed to supporting Jamaica in the fight against HIV, adding that he is pleased that the CDC identified the need for the facility.
Acting director of treatment care and support in the health ministry, Dr Gail Evering-Kerr, said that services provided at the facility will improve the health and quality of life of those who will use the space.
Chairperson of the KPH Management Committee, Dr Stephanie Reid, noted that “we have come a long way with the management of HIV and AIDS in Jamaica”.
The KPH, which is Jamaica’s largest public hospital, houses one of six sites through which HIV care, prevention and treatment services are accessible.
In collaboration with PEPFAR, Jamaica has an agreement with the CDC to improve access to quality services for people living with HIV (PLHIV) and support national efforts to achieve viral suppression.