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Health News of Wednesday, 28 October 2015


HIV campaign in Western Region in danger

Dr Roland Sowah, focal person of HIV/AIDS in Western Region, has named poor data collection and the inability of caregivers to follow up on patients as some of the challenges currently militating against HIV/ AIDS campaign in the region.

Speaking to journalists drawn from various media establishments in the region at a workshop organised by PEPFAR (US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief), in collaboration with Mosaic Plc, the HIV focal person also cited intermittent breakdown of testing kits as worrying challenges that continue to thwart the effort of stakeholders leading the campaign.

He said shortage of drugs has also been classified among visible challenges troubling patients and health workers trying hard to reduce the spread of the disease in the oil region.

He attributed the drug shortage situation to the last fire outbreak that razed down the Tema Central Medical Store and subsequently rendered virtually all public health facilities helpless.

Under this disturbing circumstance, he said various health facilities in the region working to improve the HIV/AIDS campaign had to rely on donors to mitigate the impact.

He mentioned shortage of human resource, Oraquick testing kits for complementary testing, rapid testing kits and DNA PCR, among others.

According to Dr Sowah, while authorities plan to decentralise the treatment and testing of HIV/AIDS in the region, these challenges continue to serve as drawbacks.

He revealed that instead of the region recording 200 patients as it usually does, only five people in an average month knock on their doors for testing.

These facts, he said, make the campaign cumbersome and continue to pose threats to the lives of patients and the general public.

Dr Sowah also blamed the incessant power outages as one of the challenges troubling the operations of campaign centers.

For instance, he said three stabilisers purchased by Effia Nkwanta Hospital and being used to support the operation of the testing kits broke down following the severity of the country's power crisis.

Poverty and the poor road network in the region, he said, could also be blamed to a large extent for the spread of HIV/AIDS and the counter-challenges confronting the campaign against the canker.

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