First Lady launches National Acceleration Plan for Paediatric HIV Services

Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, on Thursday launched the National Acceleration Plan for Paediatric HIV Services-Ghana and reiterated the call for reduction in mother to child transmission of HIV and AIDS.

The five-year Plan aims at placing 90 per cent of the estimated number of children and adolescents living with HIV on treatment by 2020 to “drastically avert HIV and AIDS related morbidity and mortality”.

The Plan, with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is also expected to help increase paediatric anti-retroviral therapy coverage from 26 per cent to 40 per cent in 2020 by addressing barriers and bottlenecks in accessing the service.

Speaking on the theme, “Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission: the Key to an HIV free Generation and Keeping Mothers Alive”, Mrs Akufo-Addo said despite measures taken by Ghana to reduce mother to child transmission, the prevalence was ten per cent.

She said care for children and adolescents living with HIV were below 30 per cent and this called for the timely implementation of critical services for children and adolescents.

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, said choosing the Region as one of the beneficiaries of the 2017 Organization of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) programme was in place because the Region was witnessing an increase above the national threshold.

He said that called for a “targeted effective prevention such as health education and behavioral change communication”.

Dr Letsa called on the citizenry to play its part to stop new HIV infections among children and prolong the lives of HIV positive mothers and families.

Madam Gloria Quansah, Deputy Director General, Ghana Health Service, said Ghana needed to demonstrate leadership in ending the HIV prevalence by 2030.

She expressed concern on how the 2016 sentinel survey showed a reversal of what they had aimed to achieve, saying that “HIV has remained a threat to the socioeconomic development of the country”.

Source: GNA

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