The Dominican government has welcomed the island's certification for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, saying it is a step towards Dominica's achievement of its sustainable development goals (SDG).

"What we are celebrating here this evening is truly a remarkable achievement. Dominica has been able to maintain 95 percent or more coverage of antenatal care and skilled attendance at birth," Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said at the ceremony at which the World Health Organization (WHO) certification was made.

He said that the island had also achieved 95 percent or more coverage of HIV and syphilis screening of pregnant women, zero incidences of parental HIV per 1,000 lives of genital syphilis.

"As a result, there have been no recorded cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in the Commonwealth of Dominica over the past four years," Skerrit said, adding that the "achievements of the dual elimination targets have additional positive implications as it contributes for Dominica to reach other developing goals".

These SDGs include the reduction of maternal and child mortality, universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, and universal healthcare coverage while contributing to the reduction in inequalities.

The Pan American Health Organization said Dominica has joined seven other Caribbean countries that have received the dual validation.