It was a momentous occasion for the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis on Friday, December 1, 2017 – observed globally as World AIDS Day – as the twin-island Federation was officially validated as one of six Caribbean islands to have successfully eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis.
St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Montserrat, were presented with validation certificates during a ceremony at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, which was attended by experts from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, UNAIDS, PANCAP/CARICOM and the Regional Validation Committee.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, Minister of Health, Eugene Hamilton and Minister of State within the Ministry of Health, Wendy Phipps, as well as Ministers of Health from the other five countries were in attendance at Friday’s ceremony.
This group of six countries and territories is the second in the region of the Americas to receive this recognition, joining Cuba which was validated by the WHO in 2015.
During his remarks, Prime Minister Harris said this distinction was made possible through a number of recent advancements in the delivery of healthcare services in the Federation such as increased efforts in HIV testing.
Dr. Harris said he hopes Friday’s validation ceremony would serve to inspire further action by other countries in the region.