Ghana commits GH¢150m to fight HIV/AIDS in next five years

Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday announced that government had committed GH¢150 million to the fight for drastic reduction of HIV/AIDS infections from 2011 to 2015.

He said apart from the campaign and educational programmes, part of the amount would be channeled towards the rehabilitation of persons living with HIV/AIDS and other sustainable programmes on the disease.

Vice President Mahama announced this during the 2011 World AIDS Day celebration at Obuasi in the Ashanti Region under the theme: “Getting to Zero: The Role of the Youth.”

This year’s theme was strategically focused on the youth in recognition of both the impact of HIV on them and their potential to significantly contribute to reducing HIV infections.

The Vice President said apart from financial commitment, government would also initiate innovations that would ensure sustainability of the Anti-Retroviral drugs to persons living with HIV/AIDS and other associated diseases.

He appealed to all stakeholders to focus on encouraging people to know their status since HIV/AIDS was no longer a death sentence as was perceived in the past.

The Vice President said under the new strategic plan for HIV/AIDS, the focus would be on the elimination of mother to child transmissions, HIV/AIDS transmission, nationwide reduction of the disease by 50 per cent and the provision of adequate access for treatment and amelioration.

He appealed to corporate Ghana and the private sector to partner government in fighting the menace since curtailing the disease was increasingly becoming a difficult task for government alone, particularly with current waning donor support.

Dr Angela El-Adas, Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, said Ghana was among the five countries that had reduced their prevalence rates by 20 percent and gave the assurance that her outfit would step up educational programmes to meet their target of totally eliminating mother to child infections.

She promised that a programme would soon be rolled out to engage the youth to be peer educators to help reduce the current high rates of the disease among the 15 to 24 age groups in their campaigns in subsequent years.

Source: GNA

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