Selasa, 08 Mei 2012


 Story: Musah Yahaya Jafaru & Zainabu Issah

THE Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has called for a strong and innovative public-private partnership (PPP) towards addressing the issue of stigmatisation against persons with HIV.
Such a partnership, he said, was also crucial in empowering  women in the fight against HIV.

The Vice-President made the call at the opening session of the Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV summit organised by the University of Ghana in collaboration with the Brown University of the United States of America Academic Partnership in Accra yesterday.

 The collaboration between the University of Ghana and the Brown University is designed to address HIV/AIDS jointly with the Ghana AIDS Commission and the National AIDS/STI Control Programme and the Ghana Health Service.

Held on the theme, “Towards an HIV-free Generation by 2015”, the summit sought to discuss successes and challenges in eliminating Paediatric HIV in Ghana by 2015.

Besides public-private partnership, the Vice-President called for the active participation of men in the elimination of MTCT in order to meet the less than five per cent target of MTCT by 2015.

The government, he said, had released an unspecified amount towards the elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV in the country by 2015, and added that the government had earmarked GH¢150 million for the fight against the dreadful disease.

Out of the allocation, some substantial resources had been released to the Ghana AIDS Commission for its operations and work.

The Vice-President said the government would continue to support efforts at achieving virtual elimination of MTCT.

“I hope that by 2015, no child would be infected with HIV/AIDs as a result of transmitting it from the mother,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Provost of the University of Ghana (UG) College of Health Sciences, Professor Aaron Lawson, said participants during the summit would take into consideration not only the challenges of MTCT but also how to overcome those challenges.

He, however, implored participants to give their outmost best in ensuring that the MTCT target was achieved.

The Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Angela El-Adas, in her remarks, said the elimination of MTCT was a shared responsibility of all stakeholders.
She, however, called for a continuous collaboration in order to achieve the 2015 MTCT target of less than five per cent.

Professor Timothy Flanigan, a Professor of Medicine from the Brown University, pledged the commitment of the university in the participation in the global fight against MTCT and HIV/AIDs, saying “we would collaborate with the UG in providing the requisite knowledge and skills towards the understanding of HIV/AIDs to medical students”.

He said the partnership was also a way of sharing requisite knowledge between the two universities in the area of medicine and the fight against HIV/AIDs.

Addressing the summit, Chief Paediatric, Adolescent and Maternal AIDS Branch of the United States of America (USA), Madam Lynne M. Mofenson, explained that without the use of anti-retroviral interventions, MTCT rates were 20-25 per cent in formula-fed infants and up to 40-45 per cent in prolonged breastfeeding.

She, however, said women who required treatment for the disease received the highest priority in order to effectively prevent MTCT.

The Programmes Manager of the National AIDS/STI Control Programme, Dr Nii Akwei Addo, explaining the state of MTCT in the country, said there was the provision of treatment, care and support to women infected with HIV, their infants and families.

He said  lack of funding, human resources, among others, were some of the challenges faced in the provision of health care to persons living with HIV.

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