Caribbean Summit On Communicable Diseases

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis – July 2, 2007 (CUOPM)

A Caribbean Summit on communicable diseases in the region will be held in September.

St. Kitts and Nevis‘ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas told Colleague Heads of Government, United States representatives, Ambassadors and officials at the recent Conference on the Caribbean in Washington, D.C.. that the Sir George Alleyne Report identified a major priority as the non-communicable diseases, and that the Summit will seek to identify policies to stem its deleterious effect on Caribbean society and economy.

“The Caribbean Community also came to Washington D.C with a proclaimed international best practice in the form of the Pan Caribbean Partnership in the fight against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP). It provides a good model of functional integration and has been able to forge a viable response through the implementation of a regional strategic plan,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who appealed to the United States “to reconsider the allocation of support for HIV and AIDS in the Region, specially to broaden the spread of its award of the President’s Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) from support to Guyana and Haiti only, to include PANCAP countries. This is justified by the regional impact of HIV and AIDS through the provisions for free movement of skills under the CSME.”“The point at issue is that under the circumstances HIV and AIDS is not restricted to the poorest countries but also to those middle income countries like Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago which in a single economic space are likely to become targets for migration within the Community,” said Prime Minister Douglas, the region’s point man on HIV/AIDS and other health matters.

Dr. Douglas said that a similar argument prevails with respect to the removal of restrictions on grants from the Global Fund for HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) to middle income countries.

“We urge the United States to support us in removing this unfair condition which only exacerbates the spread of the disease as a result of mobility within the CSME,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.

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