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Clinton Foundation delivers on commitment to helping OECS fight HIV/AIDS

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - Members of the Bill Clinton Foundation of the USA are in St. Lucia working with OECS health officials to improve the care and treatment provided to people affected with HIV/AIDS.

The team headed by Lyn Margerrio arrived on island Tuesday (January 21, 2003) and has held talks with officials of the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Services, the island’s Minister for Health, Honourable Damian Greaves and also toured the Ezra Long Laboratory at the Victoria Hospital and the STI Clinic.

“In the past two days there have been two teams at work already. We’ve had one team in Dominica, one team in St. Kitts. We’re bringing together a group here in Saint Lucia to continue discussions and to develop a detailed timetable and work plan for accomplishing the objectives,” Margerrio explained.

According to Margerrio one of the major objectives of the Foundation is to help combat the spread of HIV diseases in the world and also to assist in providing care and treatment for those affected and infected throughout the world.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Health, Dr. Honourable Douglas Slater who is the OECS leader laising with members of the Foundation says that several of the OECS countries are encountering difficulties dealing with the problems of HIV/AIDS. “We have problems of capacity, resources, human and financial resources and we are really looking for an injection of these sort of resources which the Bill Clinton Foundation has committed itself to. We are very optimistic that things will happen because otherwise we are in very deep waters.” Dr. Slater said.

On Saturday (January 18, 2003) the 42nd President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton paid a one day visit to Saint Lucia, where he addressed over two hundred persons during a gala dinner at the Sandals Grande, and pledged the support of the foundation to the people of eastern Caribbean. Other countries to benefit from the Bill Clinton Foundation are the Bahamas and Haiti.

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