Jagdeo to chair Presidential Commission on HIV/AIDS
Stabroek News
June 3, 2004

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President Bharrat Jagdeo will chair a Presidential Commis-sion on HIV/AIDS, which was formally established yesterday at the Office of the President (OP).

Announcing the formation of the commission at OP yesterday, Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon, an alternate chair of the body, said that it would comprise nine senior ministers as well as representatives of funding agencies along with project staff from the Health Sector Development Unit, a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) said yesterday.

According to the release, the nine ministers selected to be part of the commission include Health Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy who is also an alternate chair; Education Minister, Dr Henry Jeffrey; Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Gail Teixeira (the latter two both former ministers of health); Minister of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, Dr Dale Bisnauth; Amerindian Affairs Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues; and Finance Minister, Saisnarine Kowlessar.

Other ministers included on the 18-man team are Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Manzoor Nadir and Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Doodnauth Singh.

Meanwhile, the body which will among other things support and supervise the implementation of the national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS 2002 to 2006 also has in its membership Dr Mike Sarhan of USAID, PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr Bernadette Theodore-Gandi, along with representatives from the World Bank and UNICEF.

The committee will also have representatives from the Expanded UN HIV/AIDS Thematic Group, a representative of the Thematic Group on Health (Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper) as well as the Executive Director of the Health Sector Development Unit. There is also room on the commission for the president to invite any other person to be a member, the release said.

It noted also that the commission will be operated through its technical support unit and provide funding for NGOs registered to work in HIV/AIDS as well as support and coordinate inter-ministerial involvement.