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Health News of Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Ghana makes progress in treating HIV cases

The Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Angela El - Adas, has stated that Ghana has made significant progress in increasing coverage for the treatment of persons living with HIV.

In general, she said treatment coverage for people living with HIV//AIDS had increased from 30.5 per cent in 2009 to 60 per cent in 2012.

She made this known at Ghana's side event organised at the ongoing United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York.

Ghana's side event showcased the country's achievements with regard to the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) that relate to women and children's health, maternal mortality, HIV and AIDS among women and girls, poverty reduction as well as access to education for girls at both the primary and tertiary levels.

The director-general said as a result of improved availability of funding and enhanced efforts of implementing institutions in 2010 and 2011, prevention, care, treatment and support were improved leading to an increase in the number of persons accessing services.

She said the country was working at providing preventable interventions, as well as comprehensive sexual education to the most vulnerable who included women and the youth.

The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, said Ghana was on track to potentially meet all MDG targets in the area of HIV and AIDS, saying that the country’s prevalence rate had declined by more than 25 per cent between 2001 and 2011 to a current 1.37.

She said Ghana’s maternal mortality rate had also declined from 740 per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 451 in 2013.

Ghana's Achievements

Ghana's achievement in this area, she said, had been possible as a result of the implementation of programmes to improve access to skilled health personnel and increased education, as well as the use of family planning methods.

The introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme in 2003, coupled with the safe motherhood task force, and an increase in the training of nurses and midwives, had all contributed to delivering quality basic healthcare services to, especially, the poor and vulnerable, according to Nana Oye.

Poverty Reduction

On poverty reduction, she said the country’s poverty gap was steadily declining in the urban areas but was slower in the country's northern rural and Savannah regions.

Also she said gender parity in schools was closest to being achieved at the primary level where the net enrolment rate in 2014 was 84.04 for girls and 83.77 for boys.

The Director of Curriculum Research Development of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mrs Cynthia Bosomtwe-Sam, said the government was working on improving infrastructural needs of schools in the rural areas, as well as working at eliminating "schools under trees" across the country.

The Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, Mrs Angela Dwamena Aboagye, called for more resources for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to tackle issues on gender disparity and women's empowerment across the country.