PRESS RELEASE: Ensuring access to treatment for migrants and persons with disabilities also seen as priorities for advocacy
Thursday, October 26 2017 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, concluded the Consultation to formulate a Regional Advocacy Strategy and Five-Year Implementation Plan, held in Port-of-Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on October 24 – 25, with strategic priority areas for advocacy. These were developed by a wide cross-section of participants from the region including civil society organisations and National AIDS Programme Managers. The consultation identified core issues for advocacy including increased access to health care by People Living with HIV (PLHIV) without fear of stigma and discrimination, improving efficiency in the supply chain management through adequate forecasting and engaging with policy makers on developing antidiscrimination legislation.
Participants engaged in highly interactive discussions using the thematic areas of systems and policy reform, access to justice and redress, community, social and health services and financing and sustainability.
The consultation also noted the need to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities to access education, prevention and treatment as well as the need for migrants to access health care services regardless of their status.
The consultation noted that access to health care by all, including PLHIV was linked directly to the Region’s ability to achieve the 90-90-90 targets. Recommendations were made to advocate for this issue at all levels including high-level advocacy with policy-makers.
The pivotal role of forecasting in supply chain management was highlighted as participants expressed concern for the need for greater efficiency through improved forecasting, and joint regional negotiation for the procurement of ARVs and laboratory supplies
Participants also propagated for gender mainstreaming and addressing the rights and health requirements of transgender and other groups not usually included in dialogue.
The outcomes of the Consultation which will be reflected in the Regional Advocacy Strategy and Five-Year Implementation Plan will be disseminated to the public via the PANCAP website (www.PANCAP.org).