Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 26th 2015 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, May 26, 2015
6.1000 6.2239 6.3733
4.8330 5.0874 5.3672
9.1635 9.6458 10.1667
6.4939 6.8357 7.2117
****** 0.0513 0.0544
2.0984 2.2809 2.4406
* 2.5519 ****** 3.2507
for MAY 25TH, 2015
The Government is facing some
challenges in securing enough
HIV kits as the tendering process
is being restructured to ensure
there is no longer a sole provider.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Colin
Furlonge spoke to members of the
media after delivering the feature
remarks at the opening of an
HIV/Aids Treatment Symposium
at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-
Plans are also on-stream to bring
on board MP for Diego Martin
Central Dr Amery Browne to play
a key role in the HIV unit.
On whether there was a shortage
of kits, Furlonge said: "Right now
we don t have a shortage. We don t
have enough in the sense of an
oversupply but we are making sure
enough is purchased to carry us
through on a month-to-month
"There may be a shortage in cer-
tain areas but what we are trying
to do is redistribute what we have
so that all of the places will have."
Furlonge said the kits were crit-
ical in the testing and counselling
programmes, adding there had
been a sole provider for the kits
for the last few years.
"When people find themselves
in that position they feel it s their
right. However, the new laws have
been proclaimed at the beginning
of this year and it means you must
tender out for all these things.
"So we have had to change that
and in the process we have had
some shortfalls but we are trying
to ensure that we have a contin-
uous supply and that is why we
have approached PEPFAR the US
(President s Emergency Plan for
Aids Relief)," Furlonge said.
PEPFAR is the US Government
initiative to help save the lives of
those suffering from HIV/Aids
around the world.
Furlonge said the process to seek
PEPFAR s assistance was initiated
in the middle of last year but he
was surprised when he found out
in September last year that it had
"But we re-engaged PEPFAR
and we had good contact with the
people from Virgina and we are
finalising the procurement.
"That will save us about a 30
to 40 per cent on the cost...so that
will be a big savings to the country.
The whole procurement issue is if
we buy from a sole provider we
are in fact breaking the law but
procurement takes time," Furlonge
to source HIV kits
Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) representative Dr Giovanni Ravasi, left, and PAHO/WHO
representative in Trinidad and Tobago Dr Bernadette Theodore-Gandi share a joke with Tobago Health
Promotion Clinic's Dr Raymond Noel at the opening of the HIV/Aids Treatment Symposium at the Hyatt
Regency, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
RESISTANCE DETECTED IN NEW PATIENTS
At the launch of Emancipation
Day activities on Sunday, head
of the Emancipation Support
Committee (ESC) Khafra Kam-
bon put focus on the development
of the Chaguaramas peninsula
and its effect on citizens.
In a speech, Kambon said the
issue of Chaguaramas was being
highlighted as the theme for this
year s Emancipation celebration---
"Stand Up for Justice."
"A sense of justice is deeply
embedded in us and sometimes
seemingly small things focus our
attention on larger issues. One of
the current issues that illustrates
this is Chaguaramas.
"There is now a drive by the
CDA for what is called develop-
ment of that entire Western Penin-
sula which includes not only
mainland Chaguaramas but the
islands as well.
"I do not think that anyone here
or in the groups, including the
ESC, that organised what we
called, March for Chaguaramas II
are against development. But it
must be appropriate to the envi-
ronment, and the country."
Kambon said when it came to
public assets it must be transpar-
"Chaguaramas is a very special
space in terms of environment as
well as in its historical significance
and the emotional relationship of
the society to the space."
He said in the 1950 s and 1960 s
the people of T&T assisted by "our
Caribbean brothers and sisters"
had to fight to regain Chaguaramas
from the Americans who had been
given a 99 year lease by the British.
"Over the last year and a half
or more, the CDA, with no regard
for environment, history or
national sentiment, has been grad-
ually implementing a comprehen-
sive plan for the development of
Chaguaramas without the public
or even immediate stakeholders
being made aware of the overall
plan, or even knowing there was
such a massive plan.
"We see Board Walk 1. Many
people applauded. It beautiful
(whether or not the ideal way to
develop the particular space, a
question only of mild controversy).
Board Walk 2, less enthusiasm.
Chagville cleared of vendors---that
brought some unease. But what
drew a significant emotional
response from the public was the
brutal displacement of the farmers
from the Guave Road area.
"Some of them or their parents
had been there from the 1950 s
which they can prove. The oldest
one is 86 years old. People felt it
was an injustice."
Kambon said the displaced
farmers decided to "stand up for
justice" resulting in the whole
issue of what was seen as the
seizure of Chaguaramas from the
people of this country by stealth
exploding into a major national
Kambon also highlighted the
need for equality in T&T and the
Emancipation Day is celebrated
on August 1 and this year s cele-
brations will begin with the Yoruba
Drum Festival on June 13, followed
by the launch of the Kwame Ture
lecture series at Central Bank six
main highlight of
The immune system of
those who were newly infected
with the virus is resisting the
first line of therapy.
"But again we have not been
scientific enough in testing and
sending abroad for resistance
testing. One of the problems
that exists in something like
HIV is the problem of
"You have to take medication
everyday. Many of the people
live a lifestyle that is difficult
that allow them to be
consistent in this...they have
other problems in life so they
fall apart and they fall away
from treatment. When they
come back you find the
sensitivity to drugs has been
reduced," Furlonge said.
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