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Mar 17, 2014

Caribbean HIV AIDS Program (CHAP) Regional Exchange Meeting

For the first time, Belize is hosting the Caribbean HIV AIDS Program (CHAP) Regional Exchange Meeting. The program is an initiative funded by the American Red Cross to address the prevention, education and organizational capacity strengthening in the area of HIV/AIDS. Today and for the rest of the week, forty Red Cross National Society representatives will discuss issues on the stigma and discrimination against persons infected and affected by the disease. News Five spoke today with Executive Director of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman, who says that the meeting provides the opportunity to share progress, lessons learned and good practices experiences within the Caribbean member countries.

 

Lily Bowman, Executive Director, Belize Red Cross

Lily Bowman

“Belize as partners and as a national society share our experiences that we have from our HIV interventions and we always attend their program meetings. The meeting will be five days long and we will be sharing, exchanging good practices, innovative tools, new approaches, challenges and also solutions in our fight against HIV and AIDS. The Caribbean overall has a lot of commonalities and it is basically the same in a higher or lower degree. The innovations are more or less the same. One of the greatest challenges of course is after we educate the volunteers and the beneficiaries is to keep them interested, involved and engaged. It is a common challenge and it is an ongoing endeavor to improve that. The Red Cross is commitment to the International Federation Strategy 2020; our strategy fits into that and there are three aims. One is of course to strengthen community resilience to disaster and crisis; the next one is to enable healthy and safe living; that is where the HIV fits in. Of course, we also do first aid, we do home nursing, we do psychosocial support and we also do community base help and first aid. So it is just a component of our health commitment.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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