15th March 2016
Williams also disclosed that the chief work of the Secretariat falls under two categories - Prevention and Education and promised that moving forward, the organization will be carrying out an aggressive campaign with Barbershops and Nail Salons.
"Over the years the treatment of HIV is geared more towards prevention, preventing persons from becoming infected, preventing the transmission of more opportunistic infections and also in decentralizing HIV prevention and care. We will be having educational conferences and sessions with barbers and hairdressers and those individuals who do manicure and pedicure to train them in the proper and accepted techniques to prevent the accidental transmission of HIV" Williams stated.
Among the amenities at the new complex are ample bathrooms, a storeroom for foods and dry goods, two emergency fire escape routes, fully air-conditioned rooms, medical supplies and equipment storehouse, kitchen and lunchroom, three testing areas and a conference room.
National HIV Educator and Counselor, Oswald Hannays was elated with the transition, calling it a step in the right direction.
"Our last office space was neither suitable or sufficient to house the staff and so this new facility will enable us to meet certain basic needs for office work and at the same time giving us the chance to separate the testing areas from personal offices so that work does not have to be stopped when testing is going on" Hannays said.
The Secretariat, which spent eleven years at Redcliffe Street, was once located in the Ramco Building on Independence Drive, and before that it was situated on Friars Hill Road and also on American Road, in the building which is now the home of the National Office for Disaster Services (NODS).
When the program first started back in 1993, the institution was originally rooted on Factory Road, not too far from the old Sugar Factory building.
Ms. Debbie Francis
Ministry of Health & the Environment
Redcliffe Street, St. John's, Antigua
Tel: 1(268) 464-8026