Ghana can eliminate HIV/AIDS with perseverance – Vice President
Vice President John Dramani Mahama has expressed optimism that Ghana has the potential of eliminating or reducing the incidence of HIV and AIDS if all the stakeholders remained committed and dedicated to playing their roles responsibly.
“We can achieve the zero per cent incidence of HIV and AIDS if we tackle issues and programmes with the same enthusiasm and perseverance that we tackled small pox, guinea worm and poliomyelitis some years ago,” he said.
Vice President Mahama made the observation during a State dinner organised in honour of Mr Michel Sidibe, new Executive Director of United Nations AIDS in Ghana in Accra.
The dinner attended by Members of Parliament, public and private sector officials was to officially welcome the Executive Director into the country.
The Vice President said although the incidence of the disease had reduced over the years, there was the need to step up educational programmes in order not to make Ghanaians complacent and oblivious of their social responsibilities.
He said Ghana had voted a total of GH¢150 million for the treatment of the disease between 2011 and 2015 adding “The zero infection in the coming years is achievable, only if we continue educating the people on condom use and other preventive measures.”
Vice President Mahama gave the assurance that government would engage partners on the need to regularly provide anti-retroviral drugs for patients throughout the country and called on all stakeholders to continue with their responsibilities to eliminate the disease to set as a model country.
Mr Sidibe commended Ghana for adopting workable measures over the years to reduce the disease by 25 per cent.
He said the time had come for African countries to intensify the production of anti-retroviral drugs and make them affordable for the patients in order to wean themselves from over-dependence on foreign donors.
Mr Sidibe lauded the Ghanaian HIV and AIDS advertisement,“ If it is not on, it is not in” as one of the most innovative jingle that was internationally acknowledged and called on all partners to continue to fight until the disease was eliminated from the country.