Statements and Webcast
Antigua and Barbuda
H.E. Mr. Willmoth Daniel, Minister of Health, Social Transformation and Consumer Affairs
9 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
WILLMOTH DANIEL, Minister for Health, Social Transformation and Consumer Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda, said that an unprecedented international, broad-based approach had contributed in no small way to arresting the spread of HIV and AIDS. Endorsing the statement made yesterday on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), he noted the high prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the region, as well as the progress made there, in particular the stabilization of the prevalence rate and the decline in the number of new infections. Still, an estimated 17,000 people in the region had been infected in 2009 and the battle was far from over, he cautioned. There was now an emphasis on securing long-term and sustainable financing, so as to avoid a reversal of the gains made.
He called on the international community to work with the CARICOM countries in scaling up universal access to treatment, breaking the tragedy of high-cost treatments, promoting innovation and technology transfer and bolstering country ownership through new values and shared responsibility. Antigua and Barbuda had made the necessary investments to strengthen its health systems, he said. It had been able to achieve zero mother-to-child transmissions, increase education on condom use in schools and provide employment opportunities for those living with HIV. However, the country was still in need of simple, inexpensive diagnostics and medication that it could make available to those most affected.