By: Mavis Offei Acheampong
It is estimated that there are over 350,000 people living with HIV in Ghana, with about 16,938 new infections and 10,000 AIDS-related deaths recorded in 2021.
While current statistics show a higher trend in detected new infections which stand at 49 thousand 500 at the end of 2022, TB remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality, with approximately 14,000 cases being reported annually.
Gap in funding for HIV interventions and response in Ghana continues to hamper the work of the Ghana AIDS Commission.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ debriefing on the Mid-term Review of HIV and TB national strategic plan for 2021-2025, the Director of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene said Ghana needs about one hundred and thirty-two million dollars every year for the HIV/AIDS response.
He said the Global Fund is giving Ghana 95 million dollars for HIV for the next three years, and this means that Ghana has to find its own in-country resources to fund HIV/AIDs interventions in the country, in order to help eliminate the disease and achieve the 95/95/95 target set by the W.H.O. Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene called for more testing and addressing funding gaps, for maximum benefit of investments made so far to eliminate HIV/TB.
He believes that is the surest way to eliminate HIV and AIDS by 2030.
He said ‘New HIV infections remain high while more cases of TB are still missing for lack of testing. It is important to deepen the effort to increase access to HIV testing services, ensure that people living with HIV have access to antiretroviral therapy, and reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission’
The Program Manager for the National AIDS Control Program, Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo called for sustainable funding and investment for AIDs commodities to be made available.
He said no one should be left out in the fight against HIV.
The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Franklin Asiedu Bakoe pledged the commitment of GHS to provide the necessary leadership to support the commission and partners to achieve the 95/95/95 target of eliminating HIV/TB/viral disease in Ghana by 2030.
The Program managers of TB and Viral Hepatitis were optimistic that with the needed commitment, education and innovative ways of addressing the gaps in service delivery in TB,HIV and viral hepatitis the disease can be eliminated.
Development partners pledged their support to help implement the recommendations in the mid-term review of the strategic plans for the HIV/TB/Viral disease.
The National Strategic Plans for HIV and TB was developed to accelerate response to achieving the 2030 elimination target of the two disease.
Consultants recommended among others things more funding, integration of Hepatitis into the CHPs and Primary Care of HIV/TB, availability of testing and commodities for HIV and innovative ways of protecting all persons at risk of the disease.
A Full report of the mid-term review is expected in two weeks.