THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will be purchasing some 10,000 HIV testing kits for Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) Regional Health Services, UNICEF Deputy Country Representative for Guyana and Suriname, Irfan Akhtar, has disclosed.
Akhtar made the disclosure during the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Region Four Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and UNICEF at the RDC East Coast Demerara (ECD) office.
Speaking in the presence of the Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Quincy Jones, Akhtar said UNICEF is satisfied with the progress being made in advancing healthcare delivery within the district. Noting that UNICEF is also pleased with the joint projects executed thus far, the Deputy Country Representative said the donation of the HIV testing kits will help 10,000 persons within the region to know their status. Those found to be positive, would be provided with counselling and treatment.
Describing the relationship between UNICEF and the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) as a “healthy marriage,” UNICEF Child Protection Officer, Patricia Gittens, said collaboration with the RDC has not only been easy, but fruitful. “We at UNICEF enjoy a very healthy marriage with RDC Region Four and we will continue enjoying this marriage as thankfully we have a common understanding. The common understanding has made this marriage work and we intend to keep this marriage working as long as possible,” Gittens said.
In his remarks, the RHO said the RDC is pleased with UNICEF’s commitment. He said that the donation will save the department a significant amount of money. He said it is the RDC’s vision to provide quality health services to the people of the region.
In his expressing gratitude to UNICEF and the Regional Executive Officer (REO) Pauline Lucas, the RHO said they have been very receptive and supportive of projects and programmes imitated at the level of his department.
“UNICEF continues to play a pivotal role in the successes of the Regional Health Services Department of Region Four, while I must say that our REO Pauline Lucas has stood tall in ensuring that we remain successful. For this we would like to say thanks to her because she had been very supportive in every way,” Dr. Jones said.
The REO also expressed thanks to UNICEF for the pledge made. She too noted that the kits will help more persons to be cognisant of their status. “We would hope that once they become aware of their status that they would take appropriate actions in ensuring that they can access medications,” Lucas said.
The REO said the RDC remains committed to working with UNICEF for the development of its people.
“We at RDC Region Four are always open to collaborations and donations that will ultimately benefit the residents in this region and I would like to commend UNICEF for continuing to take the initiate in forging relationships and collaborations. I am very pleased with the fact that some 10,000 persons would now better know their HIV status and this augurs well for our region’s continued development as we move in 2020,” Lucas said.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the RDC and UNICEF is intended to strengthen their collaborative efforts.