Minister calls for united effort to curb HIV infections in Ghana

HIV test

Ghana’s Minister for Aviation Cecilia Abena Dapaah on Friday called for a united effort by all stakeholders in curbing new HIV infections in the country.

In a message to end the 2018 National HIV and AIDS Research Conference (NHARCON) in Accra, Dapaah asked delegates to challenge themselves to making a difference at their various work places by applying new knowledge and evidence from the conference.

“Each one of us has a role to play in the national agenda to achieving the 90-90-90 fast track targets,” she said, while stressing the need to double up efforts to tackle new areas of needs that must receive immediate focus in the national response.

The theme for the 4-day conference was “Ending AIDS- Rethinking Practices for Maximum Impact”.

The event is the fourth in the annual series, designed to stimulate critical thinking and decisions on strategic policies and programs among key stakeholders, to address the serious bottlenecks facing the national HIV and AIDS response.

Dapaah, who has oversight responsibility on the Ghana AIDS Commission, called the government and development partners to work together in addressing the needs of underserved but priority populations such as children, adolescents and the bridging population.

In view of the overwhelming need for evidence, Dapaah said she expected academia to contribute to research and strategic information to guide Ghana’s path towards eliminating AIDS by 2030 and achieving epidemic control in the shortest possible time.

Earlier, during the conference, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, urged stakeholders to re-think and be ready to change service delivery models that are not working and scale-up best practices to achieve the maximum impact we so much desire.

He said increasing uptake of HIV testing services is the surest way of accelerating treatment and care for people living with HIV to ensure reduction in new infections and AIDS deaths.

Ghana has over the past decade has seen a significant drop in transmission of HIV but the trend has taken a turn for the worse, according to government and stakeholders.

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. Enditem

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