Health Minister John Boyce made the case yesterday for Barbados to continue to have access to some level of concessionary funding from international donor agencies, particularly in relation to healthcare projects.

In a meeting with newly-appointed United States Ambassador to Barbados, Linda Taglialatela, Mr. Boyce explained that as Barbados developed, it no longer met the criteria for such funding from some agencies.

However, he believed that as a small island developing state, the country remained vulnerable to challenges such as disease and climate change, and a single event could have a devastating impact.??

He told the US diplomat that it was important that special funding remained available to ensure that Barbados was able to maintain high standards.

Ambassador Taglialatela said she was impressed with the collaborative work between the Ministry and the United States Government, particularly in respect of the Barbados National Medical Reference Laboratory, scheduled to be opened later this year, and the HIV programme.

In respect of HIV, she welcomed the Ministry???s plans to adopt the ???treat all??? approach, in which all persons with HIV would be offered lifelong therapy, irrespective of their CD4 count.

The Health Minister also updated the Ambassador on the work the Ministry was doing to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito and deal with the threat of Zika, with discussions focusing on possible assistance to help Barbados build capacity to test for the mosquito-borne disease.

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