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Sunday 20 January 2019
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Blood on demand, this year

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has outlined four ambitious policy interventions for the country over the next two years including the “decentralisation” of mental health and the attainment of a UN AIDS goal to help end the AIDS epidemic.

Speaking to reporters following a visit to the San Fernando General Hospital’s maternity ward yesterday, Deyalsingh said the initiatives would also focus on eliminating the “chit system” of blood donations to a “100 per cent voluntary altruistic non remunerable blood donation system.”

“That process has started, the chit system as it is now is totally inequitable and quite frankly could be dangerous. The chit system is where somebody gives blood, they get a chit and they determine who the blood goes to.

"That is wrong. But in the new system anybody, rich, poor, black white, Indian Chinese, African, whoever walks into a hospital can get blood on demand.”

He said the second goal is to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis by the “middle to the end of 2019.”

Deyalsingh said the third goal is the “attainment of 90/90/90 targets for the elimination of HIV by 2020.”

The goal, which is outlined on the UNAIDS webpage states: “by 2020, 90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. By 2020, 90 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy. By 2020, 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.”

He said this was all part of a worldwide goal to eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030.

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