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Gdf hosts successful anniversary hiv/aids health fair

As part of observances to mark its 45th Anniversary, the Guyana Defence Force yesterday hosted its annual HIV/AIDS Health Fair at the Drill Square, Base Camp Ayanganna.

The Force considers itself part of the wider effort to fight the scourge and in this regard, remains consistent in partnerships with the Ministry of Health and other non-governmental organisations.

Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy who delivered the feature address, commended the Guyana Defence Force for its work which he says contributes considerably to the overall effort to fight HIV/AIDS.
“The Force has not only performed its roles as the security arm of the nation, but also as a developmental instrument of our country. GDF has indeed been a genuine partner in promoting health in our country… it has developed its own internal mechanisms for providing better health and has extended that capacity to the country,” Ramsammy stated.

The minister stated too that the Force’s decision to host the Health Fair was testimony to its commitment  to the people of Guyana and part of a promise that it is one of the organisations that remain determined to prevent HIV from continuing to take lives.

He added that while the  disease presented a major threat to the population , “ the GDF did not stand still and say its not our responsibility , but joined in the wider battle against HIV.”

Chief of Staff Commodore Gary Best  declared the Force’s continued commitment to  tackling HIV/AIDS , which he said has presented it with a more obscure , dangerous and complex enemy. “So the Guyana Defence Force is waging war against this scourge ; through aggressive education and awareness programmes we will triumph . We are winning and will continue to win the fight against HIV,” he affirmed.   He also acknowledged the role of the PEPFAR Programme in the Force’s efforts.

Visitors to the event benefitted from a host of literature , educating them on HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections as well as general health and well being issues. Voluntary Counselling and Testing Services were also available.

A cultural extravaganza, which saw the communication of HIV/AIDS related messages through dance, song and drama from local artistes, wrapped up the day’s events.