AIDS victims must have access to social protection programmes.

AIDS victims must have access to social protection programmes.

The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) Director General, Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, has emphasised the need of providing social protection services to AIDS-affected women and children.


Dr. Atuahene has acceted that impact mitigation and social protection for those made vulnerable by AIDS remain among the most underfunded sectors of the HIV response, despite advancements in the field.

He said, "AIDS is estimated to have left over 230,000 children orphaned, so this was critical."

Dr. Atuahene made the call during the Ghana AIDS Commission's 2023 World AIDS Day National Durbar, which was hosted in Accra.

On December 1st of each year, the world observes World AIDS Day. It's a day on which people get together globally to honour those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to offer support for those living with and afflicted by HIV.

The commemoration in 2023 with the theme "Let Communities Lead" serves as a reminder that communities may be the ones to lead the global effort to eliminate AIDS.

According to Dr. Atuahene, children affected by AIDS require basic requirements like as clothes, food, and nutrition, as well as health care and an atmosphere that promotes good growth.

"Therefore, it is crucial to offer social protection support and socioeconomic impact mitigation assistance to HIV-affected households in order to ensure adult members' livelihoods and orphans' and vulnerable children's access to necessary services," he said.

He said that Ghana was making significant strides towards AIDS eradication as a public health danger.

Antiretroviral treatment facilities now number 745, distributed throughout all 16 regions of the nation, up from three in 2003.

Dr. Atuahene claims that there are now more opportunities for stable people living with HIV (PLHIV) to pick up their meds at CHPS premises as HIV treatment is being incorporated into the primary healthcare system.

He expressed optimism that Ghana will soon be able to provide its citizens access to new, cutting-edge medical methods, such as long-acting medications, which are becoming more widely accessible on the market.

"We currently possess the means to eradicate AIDS and bring the pandemic under control by 2030. To overcome the major inadequacies in the national response, however, a great deal of work had to be done.

In addition to guaranteeing primary HIV prevention among the populace, Dr. Atuahene emphasised the significance of tackling bottlenecks to expedite progress towards the 95-95-95 objective. She pointed out that casual heterosexual sex was predicted to account for over 74% of new infections in the nation.

He called on the government to take immediate action to address the socioeconomic effects of HIV and to put social protection measures in place for homes impacted by the virus.

The introduction of the short code *9898# on the MTN and Vodafone telecommunication networks to allow individuals and groups to give to the HIV Fund coincided with the national durbar hosted by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC).

During her speech at the ceremony, Chief of Staff Mrs. Frema Opare asked the GAC to use its extensive experience in public health response to support ongoing efforts against developing pandemics and their relationship to HIV and AIDS.

Ghana's national reaction, according to Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Executive Oversight Minister GAC and Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), fell short of potential and aspirations. He asked everyone to participate in the joint effort.

Attendees at the durbar included traditional elders, the Deputy Minister of Health, a representative from NAP+ Ghana, the Ghana HIV and AIDS Network (GHANET), Drs Stephen Ayisi Addo and Kwaku Afriyie, the Executive Oversight Minister of GAC, and the Minister of MESTI.


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