Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission Must Stop-Lordina

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Mrs Lordina Mahama delivering a speech at HIV, breast and cervical cancer screening programme at Methodist Park Shama, Western region
Mrs Lordina Mahama delivering a speech at HIV, breast and cervical cancer screening programme at Methodist Park Shama, Western region

The First Lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama, has pledged to work with all stakeholders to ensure the success of the advocacy on the attainment of ‘Zero new HIV infections, ?Zero Discrimination, and Zero AIDS related Deaths in 2015 and beyond. She made the pledge when she took the campaign to Cape Coast and Shama district, in the Central and Western regions respectively where she addressed separate durbars.

Mrs Lordina Mahama delivering a speech at HIV, breast and     cervical cancer screening programme at Methodist Park Shama, Western     region
Mrs Lordina Mahama delivering a speech at HIV, breast and cervical cancer screening programme at Methodist Park Shama, Western region

The Ghana Chapter of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS in collaboration with the Ghana Aids Commission and partners is embarking on an advocacy campaign to support government?s efforts to eliminate Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.

The First Lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama, who is a Premier Ambassador of the UNAIDS Global Plan on the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission and a first Vice President of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA), is promoting this initiative in the country.

Currently, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission services have been integrated into sexual and reproductive health services, as part of a 5 year Strategic Plan of the Ghana Aids Commission, aimed at achieving virtual elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.

In an initial engagement with the Eastern and Brong Ahafo regions, over 300 women were screened for cervical cancer. Out of which 82 abnormal cases were found, seven were cancerous and are receiving further management.

The involvement of the Central and Western regions are to further intensify her efforts at unearthing possible vast number of women, who might have reproductive health problems in the communities and are unaware and or suffering in silence with serious consequences later.

The First Lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama noted that since the beginning of this campaign, two years ago, some successes have been chalked. Over 1,600 sites are currently providing prevention of mother-to-child transmission services, where pregnant women are counselled and offered HIV testing, a pilot scheme to intensify the use of preventive vaccine of cervical cancer has also been introduced, in some districts in the country.

She however advocated for community involvement, and called on men to support their partners to access HIV and reproductive health services, such as pap-smear and HIV testing, regular breast examination by health professionals.

Mrs. Mahama also called for the elimination of some traditions and customs that make it difficult for women to take personal decisions on matters of their reproductive health for fear of stigma, discrimination or non-acceptance of HIV status by male partners and family.

She said so far Ghana is on track towards the achievement of virtual elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, and made a personal commitment to support all initiatives and government?s efforts to ensure the success of improving the health status of the citizenry.

The Director General of the Ghana Aids Commission, Dr Angela El Adas, commended the First Lady for championing the advocacy to eliminate mother-to-child infection of HIV as well as providing free screening for cervical and breast cancer for women in the country.

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