Hundreds of lives will be saved throughout the OECS with support from the Government of Brazil which has offered the region anti-retroviral medicines (ARVs) on consignment to treat patients with HIV/AIDS.
The medication, valued at US$142,000, is the final supply in the second phase of the South South Corporation between Brazil and the OECS which began in 2006.
Brazilian Ambassador to Saint Lucia and the OECS, His Excellency Joaquim Whitaker Salles, says his government is very pleased to provide this support to improve the lives of many people in the region.
“I feel highly honoured to know that these consignments have and will continue to save Caribbean lives. Nothing can illustrate more eloquently my government’s commitment to the strengthening of corporation with the OECS and improving the lives of the people of the region. It is an enduring commitment that Brazil will make sure to preserve and continue for the mutual benefit of our people.”
In the six years since the start of the South South Corporation between Brazil and the OECS, anti-retro viral medication coverage has increased from 530 to 700 OECS citizens living with HIV/AIDS.
Head of the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit based in Saint Lucia, Francis Burnett, says the support from Brazil has assisted the region immensely in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic in various member states.
“This donation is very important and it will complement our other efforts from the Global Fund in providing a wide consortium of anti-retro viral medicines for our patients. On behalf of the Director General of the OECS and all the people of the region we are indebted to the Brazilian Government for this important donation.”
The donation of medication was presented to the head of the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit by the Brazilian ambassador on Wednesday, October 17, 2012.