Statements and Webcast
H.E. Dr. Edgar Gimenez, Vice-Minister of Public Health
9 June 2011
- Statement: Spanish (Check against delivery)
EDGAR GIMÉNEZ, Deputy Minister for Public Health of Paraguay, said there had been progress in his country to defeat HIV/AIDS, based on a consolidated national response, which had improved financing and coordinated sectors. The Ministry of Public Health was leading that national response, which incorporated the strategy for primary health care and worked with professionals in hospitals and family health units. New care centres were established to diagnose and provide early treatment. Diagnostic testing was available for the whole population, based on the consent of the individual. A strategy of peer education had been implemented, and measures were aimed at vulnerable groups. The number of testing centres had increased, which also increased the number of women using them. Legislation had been developed regarding the rights of individuals with HIV/AIDS. The budget had been increased for the purchase of medications included on the national list of essential medications. In all that, civil society organizations had been crucial.
He said that the increased access for individuals living with HIV/AIDS had led to their survival and better quality of life, as well as to reduced mother-to- child transmission. However, while progress had been significant, there were still gaps, as well as stigma and discrimination. Paraguay was developing new strategies to help strengthen the health system and to introduce management tools to better implement the necessary actions. Much needed to be done to develop appropriate human resources and ensure universal coverage. Partnership was crucial, such as regional integration to address the high costs of essential medications.