Doctor wants more bilingual medics in HIV programme

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Clinical Care Coordinator Dr Maria Pereira is calling for more bilingual medical personnel to aid in efforts to reduce transmission of HIV/AIDS.

In an interview with OBSERVER media, Dr Pereira said efforts to ensure women have access to effective care and treatment is being hampered by the lack of bilingual professionals in HIV/AIDS prevention and education programmes.

“Sometimes, there may be a bit of misunderstanding regarding the time they are to come back to get results,” she said.

She hopes that some of the nation’s Cuban trained doctors would be integrated into the HIV/AIDS programme . The doctor is also encouraging more Spanish – speaking doctors to get involved in the project.

Meantime, Dr Pereira said her team will continue its focus on training midwives stationed at the nation’s public clinics to encourage women to get tested for the virus and to keep up with medication regimens to avoid passing on the infection to their unborn child.

Renewed efforts come amid recent reports from the Pan American Health Organisation that the Caribbean and Latin America has had a reduction of 78 per cent in mother to child transmission for HIV/AIDS between 2001 and 2013.

Dr Pereira said recent reports in the media that the country now has a 5 percent mother to child infections are unfounded. She said the nation’s mother to child transmission rate in near zero per- cent.

She told OBSERVER if women stay on medication during pregnancy the likelihood of transmission is greatly decreased.

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