Health News of Monday, 26 March 2012

Source: GNA

Ghana launches 2011 HIV Sentinel Report

Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin, Minister of Health on Monday called on civil society and non-governmental organisations to work hard for the reduction of new HIV and AIDS infection.

He made the call at a dissemination workshop on 2011 HIV Sentinel Survey Report in Accra.

The National HIV and AIDS prevalence estimates and projection reported reduction of HIV prevalence rate of 2.1 per cent with Cape Coast recording the highest prevalence rate.

Mr Bagbin said the significance of Cape Coast topping both in HIV and syphilis prevalence must not underestimate the reality that HIV prevalence increased in five out of 10 regions during the survey.

He gave the assurance that government is committed to ensuring that HIV and AIDS prevention continue to remain a priority.

Dr Angela El-Adas, Director General of Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), said, Ghana had made some significant progress over the years in fighting against HIV and AIDS through the passion and commitment of multi-sectored stakeholders.

She acknowledged government, health workers including missionary health workers and community based organisations like FACEAIDS for their support, commitment and passion especially in reaching out to marginalised communities to offer services at their doorsteps.

Dr El-Adas noted that one could not claim total victory over the reduction of HIV prevalence because the recent survey had shown that the prevalence of HIV and AIDS among pregnant women had not yet recorded below one per cent.

She said for Ghana to obtain her Millennium Development Goals by 2015, in particular eradicating HIV and AIDS in Ghana, there was the need to maintain collective action including generating enough financial and technical resources.

“GAC would continue to advocate the establishment of National HIV and AIDS fund and hope all stakeholders would ensure that the fund becomes a reality and be the sustainable channel for funding our national response," she added.

Dr El-Adas said one of the greatest success yet to be achieved was the eradication of the mother-to-child transmission among pregnant women.

She noted that there was the need to reduce stigmatisation to make the society a comfortable place for people living with the HIV and AIDS infection.**