Scotiabank, Grenada Electricity Services and Owner of Calabash Hotel, Leo Garbutt are the first contributors to the newly established Grenada HIV Care Foundation/Scotiabank initiative.
GRENLEC has offered a contribution of $5,000.00 while Garbutt has personally pledged $2,000.00 to the project.
Scotiabank presented a cheque for $5,000.00 to Minister for Health, Dr Clarice Modeste-Curwen during a ceremony held last week Thursday at Scotiabank branch, St George’s to launch the programme.
An official presentation for GRENLEC’s contribution will be held at a date to be announced.
The Grenada HIV Care Foundation/Scotiabank “Together We Care” campaign is organised in collaboration with the National Infectious Disease Control Unit of Ministry of Health and Social Security.
Country Manager, Scotiabank Grenada, Elie Bendaly, said that the aim of the campaign is to raise $50,000 by March 2014 as part of its World Aids Day activities celebrated on December 1.
Bendaly said that the aim of the Grenada HIV Care Foundation is to eliminate HIV/AIDS discrimination.
He reminded the nation that the Caribbean remains second to Sub-Saharan Africa in the rate of infection of the virus that causes the disease and as a result this issue should concern everyone.
Red ribbons will be used as the face of this year’s campaign, which can be acquired through a minimum of $2 contribution.
Bendaly stressed that the Government of Grenada cannot fight the epidemic alone and extended appreciation to GRENLEC’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, Clive Hosten, and Garbutt on becoming initial contributors to the campaign.
He said he is confident that the campaign will reach the $50,000.00 goal by the stipulated time and promised to undertake it annually.
Director of the National Infectious Disease Control Unit (NIDCU), Dr Jessie Henry noted that the Grenada HIV Care Foundation/Scotiabank “Together We Care” campaign was conceptualised out of the Scotiabank-Regional Testing Day initiative.
Minister for Health, Dr. Clarice Modeste Curwen thanked the Scotiabank manager for his leadership in battling the dreaded infection and for stating publicly that government cannot do it alone and that this issue requires public/private partnership.
Dr Modeste-Curwen said that this is a time for everyone to reflect on HIV/AIDS and encouraged the population to understand their responsibility to ensure that by 2015 there is zero transmission.
Other activities held to commemorate World Aids Day was a National Stakeholders Consultation at the Grand Beach Resort, National Testing Day at the Pastoral Centre in Gouyave and the Botanical Gardens in St George; and a National Address delivered by Health Minister Dr Clarice Modeste-Curwen.
Scotiabank is the official sponsor of the annual Scotiabank-Regional Testing Day 2013, which is held in June.