PANCAP and the Dominican Republic Commit to Strengthening the Partnership

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic  —  Population Services International (PSI), Domincan Republic, organised a press conference this morning to share the work PANCAP is supporting in the Dominican Republic.

Dereck Springer, Director of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), explained that the mission this week is to foster closer collaboration between the PANCAP and the Dominican Republic at the policy and programmatic levels. Mr Springer lauded Dominican Republic’s multi-stakeholder engagement in the response, and he reminded the media that Dominican Republic has been a partner of PANCAP since 2004. The other objective of the mission is to assess the achievements and gaps of the PANCAP Caribbean Social Marketing Project funded by Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau [KfW] (German Development Bank), which is being implemented by PSI and which ends in September 2015. 
Dr Victor Terrero, Director of CONAVIHSIDA (the National Council on HIV and AIDS) praised the “harmonious efforts of PANCAP” and said, “PANCAP focuses on the human rights of people living with HIV.” Dr Terrero and Mr Springer are united in their belief that reducing stigma and discrimination among key populations is a vital component of achieving an AIDS-free Caribbean. Tomorrow, Dr Terrero will be escorting Mr Springer to visit Barahona, one of the most affected areas in the country. While there, they will meet with programme implementers who work with the vulnerable populations living and working in the area including migrant workers, sex workers and men who have sex with men. 
Dr Luis Ernesto Feliz Baez, Director of DIGECITSS (General Director for Control of the Transmission of HIV and Sexually Transmitted infections) was present at the press conference, and specifically addressed the important issue of migrant Haitians living in Dominican Republic. He said that health centres in the country are fully committed to addressing their health needs as a priority issue to ensure the public health of the country. He emphasised the need for all pregnant women, whether Haitian or Dominican, to get tested for HIV and enrol in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme to reduce the risk of having a child who is HIV positive.
Ms Wendy Alba, Director of PSI, Haiti, thanked PANCAP and Mr Springer for taking the time to visit Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She and her team have been pleased to have the opportunity to share with PANCAP the work that they are doing in the country with support from KfW. Their focus is on both HIV prevention and sexual reproductive health in the country at the community level.
Yesterday, Mr Springer met with the Hon. Dr Altagracia Guzman Marcelino, the Minister of Health for Dominican Republic. Dr Marcelino and Mr Springer are committed to continuing to forge a productive relationship between the Dominican Republic and PANCAP. Crucially, Mr Springer was pleased to have Dr Marcelino’s full support for the PANCAP initiative, Justice for All. Mr Springer hopes to return to the country later in the year to conduct a consultation with stakeholders and government officials with the aim of gaining their complete cooperation implementing the programme.
Mr Springer was in Haiti last week and will be in the Dominican Republic this week accompanied by Ms Monica Brinn, Communications Specialist, PANCAP Coordinating Unit and Ms Sarah Romorini, Social Marketing Consultant, PSI.
PANCAP is a sixty-two member Partnership which was established by CARICOM Heads of Government in 2001 to respond to the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean. 
Visit us online at, follow us on Twitter @PANCAPORG and on Facebook at Facebook/PANCAPNetwork. 

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