The Caribbean, especially the Eastern Caribbean, is one of the first regions in the world to be certified as having eliminated Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Congenital Syphilis.
This is a great public health achievement, according to Dr. Godfrey Xuereb, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO)/World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to Barbados and Eastern Caribbean.
“Not just because of the elimination certification, but because 20 years ago the Caribbean was being classified as having the second highest global rate of HIV and especially transmission of HIV from mother to child,” he pointed out.
“To know that every child being born in most countries in the Eastern Caribbean has a very low risk of being infested with HIV or congenital syphilis, knowing that every woman that is pregnant is being screened and being treated, if found positive, is great public health gain.”
Dr. Xuereb’s comments came during the opening of the World Paediatric Project (WPP) conference, being held in partnership with PAHO and Rotary International. The conference, themed “Improving Perinatal Care in Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean: Planning and Implementing a Regional Approach to Prevention, Services, Interventions and Policies”, got under way at Radisson Aquatica Resort yesterday.