First Lady calls for war against HIV
The First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama has called for concerted effort in the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.
She also advocated the need to keep mothers infected with HIV alive in order to ensure that they live to care for their children.
The First lady made the call during the launch of the PMTCT and Keeping Mothers Alive campaign in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region over the weekend.
PMTCT and Keeping Infected mothers Alive, formed part of the objectives of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) of which the First Lady is the Vice President of the West African chapter.
The First Lady’s OAFLA project which is on a pilot bases has also been launched in Koforidua and the next edition would be launched in Tamale.
OAFLA was established 10 years ago in recognition of concerns and commitments expressed by African First ladies to address HIV and AIDS on the continent.
She noted that in Ghana, there are 1,600 sites providing PMTCT services where pregnant women are counselled and offered HIV testing.
“Pregnant women who test positive are offered anti-retroviral treatment for their …health and to prevent transmission of the virus to their unborn babies,” she added.
She said last year, 548,933 pregnant women were tested for HIV, out of which 2 per cent tested positive.
Mrs Mahama said her approach to the fight against HIV and AIDS involves community mobilisation and education and the involvement of men in supporting their partners to access HIV and reproductive health services.
The First Lady used the opportunity to advocate the fight against cervical and breast cancers, which affects the health of women.
She asked women to often go for screening to detect early signs of cervical cancer so that it could be cured since treatment is available in the country.
On breast cancer, she urged women above 20 years to go for regular checkups in an effort to fight against the disease.
She advised women to look out for the presence of lump or thickening of the breast, swelling, redness, or soreness of skin, change in shape or appearance of the nipple and nipple discharge.
“Seek immediate medical attention and further screening if any of these are seen, even if you feel well enough,” she said.
Mrs Angelina El-Adas, Director- General, Ghana AIDS Commission, said in Ghana, at least 60 per cent of HIV cases are among women, adding that in 2012 alone, 852 children got infected with the disease.
She praised the First Lady for her commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS, breast cancer and other diseases militating against the well being of women.
Nana Pemampem Yaw Kagbrese V, President, Regional House of Chiefs called on Ghanaians to stop attributing the cause of HIV to witchcraft and rather seek treatment at the hospitals.
Nana Pemampem Yaw Kagbrese V, who is also the Omanhene of Yeji, also commended the First Lady for her effort in the fight against HIV and AIDS, breast and cervical cancers.
People who visited the Sunyani Municipal Hospital were screened for HIV, breast cancer, cervical cancer, syphilis and other medical conditions.
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