As part of USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) prevention stakeholders have received furniture and Information Technology (IT) equipment to reduce HIV/AIDs prevalence rate in the Western Region.
The beneficiaries include the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice
(CHRAJ), who received two laptop computers and one Printer, the Department of Gender received one laptop and a printer, with the Department Social Welfare taking two laptop computers, two Printers and one office Chair, Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) got one desktop computer, one office chair, one printer and one laptop, with Legal Aid Board receiving a printer, one laptop and one office Chair.
The donation followed their readiness to support efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV /AIDS in communities., improve awareness about human rights and available channels for remedy when any abuse occurred.
Making the presentation to the partners in Takoradi, Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) at the USAID Care Continuum Project Ghana, Mr. Egbert Bruce told a round table conference that issues of HIV if not addressed, would lead to people not participating in care and treatment services and therefore putting their lives at risk.
He said the project sought to support the Western Region minimize the increasing HIV/AIDS prevalence.
According to him, the Care Continuum project started in the Western Region in 2019 with the HIV/AIDs prevalence rate of 2.1% but currently stands at 1.6% with the current figure of PLHIV as 26,070.
Mr. Bruce said his outfit had engaged the partners and civil society organizations since 2019 on issues such as stigma and discrimination, abuse to be well managed adding that “people have been in care” to deal with the stigma.
He observed that the theme for this year’s World AIDS Day “Equalize”, was to ensure that stigma and discrimination were eliminated, adding that the USAID Project therefore encouraged HIV patients to avail themselves for care and treatment.
Mr. Bruce announced that through the benevolence of the Global Fund and Government of Ghana, currently HIV treatment had been modernized with efficacious medicines, adding that pregnant women carrying the virus could deliver without infecting their babies.
Mr. Bruce said HIV/AIDS still existed and assured that the new medicine was more curative and made the virus detectable within a month or two and called for more education and sensitization on it for HIV patients to access the medicine and prolong their life span.
The Deputy Chief of Party said in spite of efforts to mitigate HIV, challenges such as community myths and misconception continued to impede their efforts.
He said the project had put over 20,000 HIV patients into treatment since it came to the Western Region.
A Representative from CHRAJ, Madam Efua Yankson on behalf of the partners, thanked USAID for a successful collaborative effort to reduce HIV prevalence in the Western Region.
She expressed the hope that the support would help strengthen the stakeholders and make them efficient to stem the HIV scourge.
The Western North and Ahafo Regions are yet to take delivery of their HIV preventive equipment.