Saturday 28 November, 2020

US and Jamaica sign multi-million dollar cooperative health agreement

United States Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia (3rd left) alongside State Minister in the Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOH&W), Juliet Cuthbert Flynn (2nd left) sign a multi-million cooperative agreement targeting health.

United States Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia (3rd left) alongside State Minister in the Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOH&W), Juliet Cuthbert Flynn (2nd left) sign a multi-million cooperative agreement targeting health.

The United States, through the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has signed a cooperative agreement with Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) to strengthen the island’s public health services for the treatment of HIV and STIs.

The agreement was signed under the theme, “Strengthening Access to and Delivery of Quality Public Health Services for Prevention, Care and Treatment of HIV, STIs, Addressing Diseases of Public Health Importance, and Advancing Global Health Security in Jamaica under PEPFAR.” 

This award, which became effective on September 30, 2020, was solidified by a symbolic signing ceremony, held on October 1.

Over $140 million dollars have been awarded to date with an award ceiling of over $490 million.  

Speaking at the signing ceremony, United States Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia asserted, “with over $140 million already awarded, this cooperative agreement is a further example of how the US Government is absolutely committed to collaborating with the Government of Jamaica on a variety of crucial health issues.” 

CDC’s Caribbean Regional Office Country Director Dr Varough Deyde also noted that “CDC and PEPFAR value the partnership with the Jamaica Ministry of Health and Wellness, which provides a platform to strengthen and expand HIV programming in Jamaica and fast track achievement of epidemic control.”  

The scope of the agreement covers interventions for HIV, non-communicable diseases as well as global health security.

This cooperative agreement will prioritize activities to drive progress toward HIV epidemic control in Jamaica.

The support will focus on strengthening laboratory and strategic information systems, using international best practices and policies as the framework. Successful implementation of the activities outlined in this cooperative agreement will improve the quality, availability, timeliness, and use of data to guide clinical and programmatic decisions.

Ultimately, the USG-MOHW partnership will enable effective patient management for better health outcomes. 

Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, State Minister, Health & Wellness stated, “I am very pleased with this collaboration, as partnerships in healthcare have never been more critical than in this era of Covid-19. The cooperative agreement which we are signing today with the CDC represents a significant partnership that will help us to improve treatment, prevention and care for persons living with HIV. The ministry is committed to this engagement and delivering on key mutual priorities.” 

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