Having completed its mandate to help improve the availability of information on HIV and AIDS as well as the quality and coordination of training for health care workers, the International Training and Education Centre for Health (I-TECH) on Friday handed over its operational assets to the Ministry of Health.
The auspicious move was characterised by a ceremonial occasion at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) at Main and New Market Streets building on Friday.
According to I-TECH’s Country Director, Dr Wallis Best-Plummer, I-TECH, formerly the International Training and Education Center on HIV was founded in 2002 by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the United States Government in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It saw life as an international model of the US Domestic AIDS Education and Training Centers.
I-TECH, according to Dr Best-Plummer, was designed to work with the Ministry of Health to increase human and institutional capacity for care and treatment. However, she revealed that it also partners with other agencies such as universities, non-governmental organizations, and medical facilities.
While initially focused on the achievement of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR Phase 1), the organization has evolved in parallel with the shifting focus of PEPFAR Phase 2 and President Obama’s Global Health Initiative, Best-Plummer said.
Apart from its major grant from HRSA, I-TECH had also received funding through grants from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Department of Defense and other organizations.
At present I-TECH is working in four continents as well as in the Caribbean, Best-Plummer added. The entity, she said, started its work in Guyana as a sub-grantee of the Francois-Bagnoud-Xavier (FXB) center of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
The programme brought its repertoire of skills and resources for HIV Education, training and curriculum development to augment the FXB Care and Treatment Programme that was existent in Guyana, Best-Plummer said.
“Specifically at the request of the Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy, I-TECH’s scope of work sought to strengthen training of allied health care workers in HIV/AIDS and the coordination of such training being undertaken by the Ministry’s partner,” she noted.
As a result, the Guyana National Training and Coordinating Center on HIV was created to ensure that all trainings were collaborated and coordinated under the one national umbrella to avoid duplication of training.
I-TECH is set to close its operation here in Guyana next Wednesday.
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