At annual health fair…Friday, November 26, 2010 – 12:04 pm
Source: Guyana Chronicle
Ramsammy commends GDF on significant HIV/AIDS fight contribution
THE Guyana Defence Force (GDF), continuing its 45th anniversary observances, hosted its annual HIV/AIDS Health Fair, on Thursday, at the Drill Square, Base Camp Ayanganna, Georgetown.
The staging was because the Army considers itself part of the wider effort to fight the scourge and, in this regard, remains consistent in partnerships with the Ministry of Health and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, who delivered the feature address on the occasion, commended the GDF for its work.
He said it contributes, considerably, to the overall effort to fight HIV/AIDS.
“The Force has not only performed its role as the security arm of the nation but also as a developmental instrument of our country. GDF has, indeed, been a genuine partner in promoting health in our country. It has developed its own internal mechanisms for providing better health and has extended that capacity to the country,” Ramsammy stated.
He said the Force’s decision to host the fair was testimony to its commitment to the people of Guyana and part of a promise that it is one of the organisations which remains determined to prevent HIV from continuing to take lives.
Ramsammy added that, while the disease presents a major threat to the population, the GDF did not stand still and say it is not its responsibility but joined in the wider battle against HIV.
Army Chief of Staff, Commodore Gary Best, pledging the Force’s continued commitment to tackling HIV/AIDS, said the sickness has presented it with a more obscure, dangerous and complex enemy.
“So, the Guyana Defence Force is waging war against this scourge. Through aggressive education and awareness programmes, we will triumph. We are winning and will continue to win the fight against HIV,” he affirmed.
Best, also, acknowledged the role of the United States (U.S.) President’s Emergency Relief Programme (PEPFAR) in the Force’s efforts.
Visitors to the exhibition were recipients of literature to educate them on HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and infections, as well as general health and well-being issues.
Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services were also available and a cultural presentation, which was the culmination of the day long activity, showed the communication of HIV/AIDS related messages through dance, song and drama by local artistes.