Health News of Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Source: GNA

Ghana AIDS Commission receives GHC17.6 million from government

Government has released GH?17,650,455.54 as the first portion of its matching funds in fulfillment of Ghana’s High level commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Vice President John Dramani Mahama, at the High Level Plenary meeting on AIDS during the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in June 2011, pledged GH?150 million over a five-year period as government’s contribution to the implementation of the National Strategic Plan of 2011-2015.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, Dr Angela El-Adas, Director General of Ghana Aids Commission noted that, the commitment had brought the country closer to the establishment of an HIV and AIDS Fund to contribute to government’s effort in ensuring the elimination of Mother-To-Child Transmission of the Virus.

She stated that the Fund would help in the reduction of new infections by 50 per cent and the impact of HIV on the infected, as well as ensuring that the affected were significantly mitigated by end of 2015.

Dr El-Adas indicated that the current general prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS was 1.5 per cent while that of Mother-to-child was 2.1 per cent.

She said the Commission would intensify its treatment programmes and ensure that drugs were made available to every patient, including those who were not already on any of these drugs.

The Director General stated that the Commission was working intensely in the distribution of condoms to all sexually active persons and continued to target sensitisation programmes towards reducing stigmatisation of patients in the society.

“It is always cheaper to prevent the disease as compared to the cost of treatment,” she said.

Dr El-Adas said the Global Fund Team was currently in the country, looking into issues relating to AIDS and malaria, adding that negotiations were underway to release the phase two of the Global Fund.

Ghana is among 29 African countries reported by the World Health Organisation to have reduced prevalence of HIV by 25 per cent over the past decade, and has been named a high priority and high impact country by UNAIDS and the Global Fund.**