Belize, Jamaica, St. Vincent reach significant milestone in preventing HIV transmission

Belize, Jamaica, and St Vincent and the Grenadines receive certification from WHO

In an impressive feat, Belize, Jamaica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have received prestigious certification from the World Health Organization (WHO) for their successful elimination of HIV and syphilis transmission from mother to child. This groundbreaking achievement was celebrated at a ceremony held in Kingston, Jamaica, organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and supported by UNICEF and UNAIDS. Health ministers from the three nations graced the event, marking a momentous occasion in the fight against these diseases.

Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, Director of PAHO, commended the unwavering dedication, tireless efforts, and effective collaboration among governments, healthcare professionals, and communities that led to this significant milestone. He particularly lauded the resilience demonstrated by Belize, Jamaica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in overcoming challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the continuity of essential healthcare services amid adversity.

Expressing optimism for the future, Dr. Barbosa emphasized the importance of these achievements serving as an inspiration for other nations to reinvigorate their commitment to eradicating HIV and congenital syphilis. He underscored the longstanding commitment of countries in the Americas, dating back to 2010, when they pledged to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of these diseases. This commitment was further solidified through the endorsement of a regional strategy, subsequently updated in 2016 under the PAHO Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

The certification bestowed upon Belize, Jamaica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines not only acknowledges their remarkable progress but also heralds a promising future for generations to come, free from the burden of HIV and congenital syphilis transmission.