Statements and Webcast
H. E. Ms. Ann Peters, Minister of Health
10 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
ANN PETERS, Minister of Health of Grenada, associating herself with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that, despite the challenges of taboo and stigma, social and religious norms, limited resources and the need for more public education, Grenada had made several gains in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Describing them, she said that more than 80 per cent of women in antenatal clinics had accepted testing at their first visit. Vast improvements in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV had been seen, with Grenada achieving the first “global zero”: no child born to an HIV-infected woman had tested positive for the virus. That had been the result of strategic, rights-based interventions in primary health care.
That model could be used to achieve the other two zeros, she explained, adding that Grenada had seen an increase in the number of young people who voluntarily tested, thanks to growing awareness and reduced stigma. Plus, the use of antiretroviral drugs had made it possible to put all patients on treatment and significantly increase the numbers of people with access to services. Home visits and referrals to specialists also were making a difference in the quality of life of HIV-positive people. Other gains included improved testing, local and regional training for medical personnel and more intersectoral activities. The human rights of all Grenadians must be honoured without distinction.