DCM Boustani Remarks – HIV/AIDS medical supplies handover ceremony

Deputy Chief of Mission Martina Boustani
HIV/AIDS medical supplies handover ceremony
Friday, August 11, 2017
Hôpital Militaire de Ouakam

(As prepared)

Monsieur le Chef d’Etat-major Général des Armées,
Monsieur le Commandant en Chef de la Gendarmerie,
Monsieur le Chef du Laboratoire VIH/SIDA de l’Hôpital de Ouakam,
Mesdames, Messieurs les Représentants des Autorités,
Chers Invités et Participants,
Mesdames, Messieurs,

Good morning.

Not long ago, AIDS was considered a death sentence.  Now with huge advancements in medicine, there is a great deal that can be done to ensure that people with HIV/AIDS live long and comfortable lives.  This is why it gives me great pleasure to be here as we celebrate the donation of medical supplies from the United States’ Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program to the AIDS Program of the Direction de la Sante des Armees.

By offering this support to the Ministry of Defense, our hope is to improve the prevention and treatment of AIDS and HIV while providing support to laboratories monitoring HIV/AIDS throughout this country.  It will enable the military, gendarmes, their families, and the needy populations of these areas to benefit from screening and quality health care through effective antiretroviral treatment.

This support will also enable the Direction de la Sante des Armees AIDS Program to improve the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the “Test, Treat and Retain,” approach in Senegal. This is the Ministry of Health’s goal of achieving zero new HIV infections, zero deaths due to HIV/AIDS and zero stigmatization and discrimination, in line with the National AIDS Strategic Plan.

The supplies will also improve the capacity of counseling and testing services target vulnerable populations, facilitating communications and ensure rapid treatment for those who are afflicted.

This donation represents the continuing and longstanding partnership we have with Senegal in a great number of areas – in this case health.  I hope it will benefit many in the future, and I thank you again for hosting me today.