Guyana records success in malaria, HIV/AIDS programmes
Kaieteur News
December 28, 2006

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Government has made considerable progress this year with the implementation of programmes to promote the necessary means of ensuring reduction, care and treatment for two of the most deadly infectious diseases in Guyana , malaria and HIV/AIDS.

Up to late last year, a malaria rate of 78,000 had been recorded. This has now been reduced, with Regions One and Seven, the most affected regions, recording the highest reduction rate.

This decrease was accomplished partly through the distribution of over 50,000 insecticide-treated bed nets in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine and some parts of Regions Two, Six and Ten.

The Ministry of Health has also been able to maintain malaria surveillance through its computerised information malaria system which issues data on a weekly basis from the regions.

Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy recently noted that a major fogging exercise will soon begin on East Coast and East Bank Demerara and will be ongoing in preparation for Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007.

Government has also intensified the fight against HIV/AIDS this year by strengthening a number of programmes promoting prevention, care and treatment for people living with the deadly disease.

Through the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme which started in 2001, the prevalence rate in the antenatal population has reduced to 1.4 percent.

There are now more than 85 PMTCT sites in all regions and more than 90 percent of pregnant women have accepted testing and are aware of their HIV status.

On November 17 the National Day of HIV testing was launched nationwide and 66 percent of those tested were females. The Health Ministry has released reports showing a zero prevalence rate on the day of testing in Regions Two, Three and Eight.

Anti-retroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS patients continues to be given. Some 11,000 benefited from this treatment at the recently established Genito Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic.