Philipsburg----The Caribbean Coalition of National AIDS Programme Coordinators (CCNAPC) recently held a new national AIDS coordinator orientation and peer workshop on St. Maarten on June 15 & 16. St. Maarten hosted the coordinators from four Caribbean islands, namely Suriname, Turks & Caicos, Barbados, and Trinidad & Tobago. Facilitators for the three day event were Sharon Mottley, Chief Operations Officer of CCNAPC; Patricia Beard of the National STI, HIV & AIDS Programme Director in Anguilla; Suzette Moses-Burton, HIV/AIDS Programme Manager St. Maarten; Salorne McDonald Behavior Change Communications Manager, Society for Family Health , P.S.I Caribbean (Trinidad & Tobago).
During their visit the new National AIDS Coordinators also went on site visits to the hospital on the French side, to see exactly how their program is set up, and mainly the rapid/anonymous HIV/AIDS testing. The site visits also included a visit to two of the [RED] businesses, namely PJIAE and NAGICO.
NAGICO Insurances came to National AIDS Coordinators at Holland House, and made a power point presentation to the coordinators of all the work they have done in the two years as a [RED] business.
Shoron Mottley of CCNAPC stated during the workshop that it is important to hold these sessions to know what the expertise is amongst the members and to share information. “It is better to build strength from within the region instead of stepping out, as there is a lot of great work being done in the region,” said Mottley.
According to Suzette Moses-Burton,HIV/AIDS Programme Manager St. Maarten “It was quite a privilege for us to be asked to host this very important information exchange. It provided a wonderful opportunity for us as a small territory to showcase some of the challenges and success we have faced to our counterparts from larger territories, in an effort to share experiences and learn from one another.”
The objectives of the workshop were:
• Develop/strengthen national coordinating capacity to deal with HIV/AIDS through human capacity development/lessons learnt by other Programme Managers
• Provide incoming NACs with a clear understanding of the importance of their roles/functions
• Expose participants to components of multi-sectoral National AIDS Programmes facilitating the adaption of key aspects to their local situations
• Share information/insight on key regional HIV/AIDS strategies and priorities and the importance of National AIDS Programmes to the overall regional framework
This is CCNAPC’s second official meeting in St. Maarten. CCNAPC is has 34 member countries, and has been serving their membership since 2000 through activities geared to strengthen the national AIDS coordinators.