The project commenced on March 01, 2006 and the office is located in the Medical Centre at Base Camp Ayanganna.
The GDF HIV/AIDS Prevention Project is sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) and implemented by the Center for Disaster & Humanitarian Assistance Medicine (CDHAM) HIV/AIDS Prevention programme projects. The project is described in the Department of Defense section of the yearly U.S. Government HIV/AIDS Program Country Operational Plan (COP) as part of the U.S. PEPFAR supported initiatives.
The United States Military Liaison Office of the United States Embassy, Georgetown is the in country authority for the project.
The project’s goal is to aid in the reduction of HIV/AIDS incidence and improve broader HIV/AIDS intervention, care and prevention among the military population. The accomplishment of these interventions will be through the implementation of large scale, comprehensive programs in prevention, assistance in the development of an HIV policy, development of needed infrastructure, establishment of locally sustainable HIV surveillance capability, development of human resource capacity through training and technical assistance and support the development of care and treatment efforts.
The project comprises nine programme areas, below is an outline:
- Prevention/Abstinence and Be Faithful – An ABC programme exists in the GDF with trained educators and peer educators to provide messages within the GDF.
- Medical Transmission / Blood Safety – Universal Safety Precautions to include safe medical injections will be implemented in all the GDF clinical settings. The clinics will have proper equipment and supplies available to safely handle blood products and to prevent medically transmitted diseases.
- Prevention/Other – Condoms being available within the GDF and distribution mechanisms established.
- Basic Health Care and Support – HIV infected members of the GDF will have access to diagnosis and treatment of infections through strengthened health care and organizational capacity.
- Palliative Care: TB/HIV – Development of training. Coordinate technical assistance to GDF medical personnel to enable diagnosis and treatment of TB in HIV infected members within the GDF. Coordinate for the provision of equipment, laboratory supplies and pharmaceuticals to build capability to treat TB.
- Counselling and Testing – A VCT programme with trained counsellors / testers available in the GDF. GDF members will have access to VCT services at four bases.
- Laboratory Infrastructure – The capacity and ability to use the basic medical equipment provided to the GDF under the Country Operational Plan.
- Strategic Information – Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in the GDF through increased surveillance and analysis of strategic information.
- Management and Staffing – Overall programme management by the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine (CDHAM) with a goal of transferring management to the GDF which includes one local in-country management assistance for PEPFAR initiatives.
- Two VCT sites established at Base Camp Stephenson and Base Camp Ruimveldt
- Trained 32 Counselors and Testers
- 90 Peer Educators trained.
- 1720 ranks received ABC messages by Guyana Defence Force Peer Educators
- Sensitization and HIV/AIDS Prevention education were provided to 808 ranks including Senior Officers by Field Project Manager & GDF Peer Educators
- Posters and 3 billboards were produced
- Produced a booklet on messages
- Lapel pins [red ribbons] were designed and produced for the military to demonstrate their solidarity to HIV/AIDS Prevention
- T-Shirts were produced to heighten HIV/AIDS Awareness
- Procured computer systems for the VCT sites and laboratory
- Acquired laboratory equipment and reagents
- The medical personnel including the Force doctors and medics of Medical Corps received various types of training to enhance capabilities in the medical field.
The medical laboratory at Base Camp Ayanganna was refurbished and now houses Phlebotomy, Hematology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Media rooms..