US Centers for Disease Control establishes office here
HIV/AIDS key focus
April 5, 2003
The Ministry of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) yesterday to create a CDC office within the United States Embassy here.
US Ambassador to Guyana, Ronald Godard signed on behalf of the CDC while Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy signed on behalf of the ministry.
The focus of the CDC in Guyana is in improving disease surveillance, voluntary counselling and testing for HIV/AIDS and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. The CDC is expected to work in close collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Embassy.
Ambassador Godard stated that the signing initiated some new important partnerships between the ministry and the embassy.
He said it was an initiative he had been working on for a long time as he had come to realise how important the issue of HIV/AIDS was, requiring the highest priority attention of the US government.
Dr Ramsammy said, “The CDC brings ... much needed resources to our country. The CDC is one of the world’s foremost technical scientific bodies.” He noted that the setting up of an office in Guyana was the first such presence in the Caribbean.
Dr Okey Nwanyanwu, who heads the two-member delegation at the office said they may deal a little bit with sexually transmitted diseases, “but for the most part our work is HIV/AIDS in general.” He said that they would ensure that the prevention of mother-to-child programme is effective, “when I say effective, our job is to work with the Minister of Health and make sure that the national strategic plan is implemented and implemented very well.”