The Lordina Foundation, together with its partners, on Monday organized a health screening exercise for women groups in selected communities in Accra in line with the advocacy and reproductive health service delivery campaign.
The campaign dubbed: ?Prevention of Mother-to Child-Transmission of HIV and keeping Mothers Alive Campaign? forms part of a broader operational plan of the Ghana chapter of the Organization of African First Ladies Association (OAFLA).
The partnership intends holding health outreaches in five selected sites in the Greater Accra Region in 2015, and had already held similar ones in Weija, Kasoa and Ningo Ada.
The first Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama said statistics from the outreach programmes had shown that many women have very little information and knowledge about breast and cervical cancers, whiles those who have the information were too busy with work and family to take advantage of the health services available to them.
As a result, people are diagnosed with diseases at an advanced stage, which makes management difficult, she said.
?When victims are diagnosed early, babies can be prevented from HIV infection from an HIV pregnant woman or from a breastfeeding mother and that is why I am fully committed to see the community outreach programmes reaching all Ghanaian women, irrespective of age and location.?
Mrs Mahama, who is also the President of OAFLA, said similar awareness creation and health screening exercises had been held at Mallam and Gbawe.
She said the outreach programmes had been highly successful, bringing the much needed attention and health education to the communities and urged participants to share their experiences with women in their communities.
?As you go back home, please share today?s experience with your sisters in the communities and get more people informed and also access the mother to child HIV prevention drugs, breast and cervical cancer services,? she said.
The OAFLA President noted that, her campaign with UNAIDS to prevent mother to child HIV infection was achieving results, and it has encouraged pregnant women to ask for the services any time they visit antenatal clinics.
She said about 70 per cent of HIV positive pregnant women across the country are receiving Anti-retroviral medications to prevent their babies from getting infected with HIV, and that, her target is to ensure that all pregnant HIV positive women are diagnosed and given treatment so that no baby is born HIV positive.
Mrs Mahama thanked the OAFLA, the GAC and UT Cares Foundation for their support to many communities and expressed appreciation for the health workers effort to support HIV prevention.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection said, about 70 per cent of people who tested positive of HIV/AIDS in the country are women, and that, one of the desires of Mrs Mahama is to help prevent and eradicate the mother to child transmission in Ghana.
Madam Comfort Asamoah-Adu, Executive Director of the West African Programme to Combat AIDS and STI (WAPCAS), said the plan was to reach as many women as possible and also intensify HIV and reproductive health education in the Greater Accra Region.
She said the outreach programmes have been held at four sites in the region, with about 800 women receiving cervical cancer care and 600 breast examination test, whilst 700 others received HIV testing and counseling.
She noted that plans were underway to have the regional campaign implemented in the Volta, Northern, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions before the end of the year.
Present at the event were Mr Alex Segbefia, Minister of Health, Mr Nii Laryea Afortey-Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Dr Angela El-Adas, Director General, Ghana AIDS Commission and Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye, Mayor of Accra.
Source : GNA/newsghana.com.gh