LATEST FIGURES on new Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections in the country have got tongues wagging in the health sector.
Between 2010 and 2016, new HIV infections have increased by 21 percent across all ages. This is troubling because for decades the transmission rate had been declining.
Announcing the figures at the Ghana AIDS Commission’s fourth National HIV and Research Conference which opened on Tuesday, May 8, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Aviation Minister, speaking on behalf of President Nana Akufo-Addo, said the situation calls for a radical approach.
“Between 2010 and 2016, new HIV infections have increased by 21 percent across all ages. The growth of new infections in young people, aged between 15 and 24 years was even much higher: it increased by 45 percent. Yet over the same period globally new infections reduced by 16 percent, with the steepest decline, 26 percent, occurring in Eastern and Central Africa.
“Having a rising trend in new infections at a time when many African countries are seeing significant reductions in new infections calls for a renewed national commitment to HIV prevention especially targeting the general population in order to stem the tide,” the Minister stated.
The Conference provided the platform for players in the health sector to discuss up-to-date research and evaluation findings in the fight against HIV.
Speaking at the forum, the Ghana Network of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS made a key statement which the DAILY HERITAGE thinks is worth noting.
The Network called on the government to increase their quota of the District Assemblies Common Fund and noted that the allocation was “inadequate to enable the AIDS Commission to move around the service centres to see the challenges of people living with HIV and HIV services in general.”
“We want to appeal to the government to increase the [current 0.5 percent] to two percent of the [Common Fund] so that this can enable both the municipal and district assemblies to carry out their services,” President of the Network, Emmanuel Belzebr Suukure appealed.
We agree with the Network because the decline in the figures in the past decade was attributable to the massive awareness campaign embarked upon by the Ghana Aids Commission.
These campaigns were successful because of adequate funding. We, therefore, appeal to the Ministry of Health to treat as urgent the current development and provide adequate resources to stem the tide.
Source: www.dailyheritage.com.gh/Muftaw Mohammed