First Lady of Antigua and Barbuda, Mrs. Maria Bird Browne will address a World AIDS Day Regional event organized by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in collaboration with UNAIDS and PANCAP in Saint Kitts and Nevis on Friday.
Mrs. Maria Bird Browne is attending the event in her capacity as a member of Spouses of Caribbean Leaders Action Network (S-CLAN), a grouping of spouses and First Ladies of the region designed to tackle issues relating to the well-being and health of women, children and adolescents in the Caribbean.
The event, which will hear special remarks from Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Timothy Harris, the PAHO Director Carissa Etienne and UNAIDS Latin America and Caribbean Regional Support Team Director Cesar Nunez, is being held at the Marriot Hotel Saint Kitts.
Before leaving Antigua for Saint Kitts, Mrs. Bird Browne indicated that her remarks will focus on the theme “My Right to Health and Everybody Counts.” “It is my hope that the day’s events will further re-energize health workers and members of civil society to advocating for the right to health and ensuring that everyone counts as all work towards an AIDS free region,” she noted.
The country’s First Lady said that during her presentation she will speak of the momentous achievement by six Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda who have succeeded in eliminating mother-to-child HIV and Syphilis transmission. She said that she will also implore the gathering to keep the focus and maintain the fight in doing more to save lives.
“During the afternoon ceremony, six Caribbean countries and territories, including Antigua and Barbuda, will be validated as having eliminated mother-to-child HIV and Syphilis transmission. This is a testament to political leadership, health system strengthening and global partnership toward an ambitious goal,” First Lady Maria Bird Browne said.
During the ceremony, Mrs. Maria Bird Browne will accept on behalf of S-CLAN the recently launched HIV Prevention in the Spotlight Report, produced by the Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization.
Later in the afternoon, Health Minister the Honourable Molwyn Joseph will accept the Certificate validating Antigua and Barbuda as having eliminated mother-to-child HIV and Syphilis transmission. Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Saint Kitts and Nevis will also receive validation.