Global Fund Board meets in Ghana to take key decisions

With the various interventions supported by the Global Fund, Ghana has been able to bring down the HIV prevalence among pregnant women from 3.6 per cent in 2003 to 1.6 per cent for the first half of this year,  Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Minister of Health has said.

“With regards to the Tuberculosis (TB) programme, significant improvement has been made from 2005 to 2009 with case identification improving from 57 per cent to 64 per cent treatment success rate from 72 per cent to 87 per cent and defaulter rates declining from 11.3 per cent to 2.6 per cent,” he added.

Mr Yieleh Chireh made these observations at the welcome reception for the Global Fund Board delegates in Accra on Sunday.

The Global Fund Board is holding its 25th Board meeting in Accra, Ghana, to take key decisions concerning the future of the fund.

The Global Fund is an international financing institution that invests the world’s money to save lives by fighting AIDS, TB and Malaria.

To date, it has committed $22.4 billion in 150 countries to support large-scale prevention, treatment and care programmes against the three diseases.

He said with the remarkable achievement, “it is our desire to see Global Fund support continues in Ghana, to enable us to eliminate these disease entities and save the lives of more people in Ghana and beyond.”

The Minister said it was worth mentioning that Ghana was the first country to sign a grant agreement and receive Global Fund Grant in 2001.

He said the issue of financial impropriety in some implementer countries among other things prompted the Fund to embark on a reform programme to improve on the efficiency and eliminate waste in the implementation.

He appealed to the donor partners not to consider as option, any reduction or suspension of their contribution to the Fund, since the achievements of the fund were phenomenal and that it was premature to start holding back support.

Mr Charles Oppong, National coordinator for Ghana Network of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (NAP-GHANA), said in order to ensure an AIDS-free generation, there was the need to make Antiretroviral therapy available to all those who needed it and to ensure that periodic issues with procurement  and stock outs were a thing of the past.

He said one remarkable achievement in the implementation of the fund projects in Ghana was in the area of prevention of mother-to-child transmission.

He commended government for committing an amount of $100 million over the next 5 years to the support of the national AIDS response.

Bice Osei Kuffour aka Obour, TB Ambassador, told the GNA that TB was curable and people should seek early treatment, adding that the era of stigmatization was over.

He said more campaigns would be organized across the whole country to intensify public awareness on the menace.

The official 25th Meeting starts from Monday 21st to Tuesday 22nd of November in Accra.

Source: GNA

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