As part of its blossoming relationship with the Regional Health Services Department of Region Four, the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund [UNICEF] has decided to purchase some 10,000 HIV testing kits for the region.As part of its blossoming relationship with the Regional Health Services Department of Region Four, the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund [UNICEF] has decided to purchase some 10,000 HIV testing kits for the region.
This disclosure was made when Regional Health Officer [RHO], Dr. Quincy Jones, met with UNICEF’s Deputy Country Representative for Guyana and Suriname, Mr. Irfan Akhtar, recently.Akhtar said that his organisation is very pleased with the leadership that has been shown by the region through its Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Pauline Lucas, and Dr. Jones. The two have outstandingly managed several projects that were conducted in collaboration with UNICEF.According to Akhtar, the relationship continues to be strengthened, noting that the donation of the HIV testing kits is to ensure that some 10,000 persons within the region can know their status. He said that UNICEF is committed to supporting the region’s Regional Health Services Department in playing a pivotal role in ensuring that the issue of HIV is addressed. He disclosed that with persons knowing their HIV status, they would be better able to take appropriate action.Child Protection Officer of UNICEF, Ms. Patricia Gittens, described the relationship between both sides as being a ‘healthy marriage’. She said that both organisations have a common understanding, thus making projects and collaborations easy.“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.Dr. Jones said that he, along with his department, is elated with the donation. He said that the donation has saved the department a significant sum of money, noting that the vision is to continue providing a very high level of health services to Region Four.Meanwhile, Dr. Jones praised UNICEF and his REO, stating that REO Lucas continues to be receptive and supportive of projects and programmes being initiated by his department. According to him, it is because of Lucas’ openness and willingness to see continued growth and development that has caused UNICEF to forge such a close and useful relationship with the region.“UNICEF continues to play a pivotal role in the successes of the Regional Health Services Department of Region Four, and I must say that our REO 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 declared.Meanwhile, Lucas, in commending UNICEF for its support, stressed the importance of persons being aware of their HIV status since, according to her, Guyana can ill afford to lose its human resources to a disease like this. She declared that with the testing kits, the Region will be in an even better position to help persons be cognisant of their status.“We would hope that once they become aware of their status that they would take appropriate actions and access medications where necessary,” Lucas said.She continued, “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 initiative to forge relationships and collaborations like these. I am very pleased with the fact that some 10,000 persons would be able to know their HIV status and this augurs well for our region’s continued development as we move in to 2020,” the REO added.