The Ghana-West Africa Program to Combat Aids and STI (WAPCAS) with support from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on Tuesday, donated HIV rapid diagnostic test kits worth 1.1 million dollars to the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The donation would help fill the stock-out gap of essential HIV rapid Diagnostic Kits (RDT) caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and also to help Ghana to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target 3.3 aimed at ending AIDS as a public health threat.
Mr Emmanuel Mahama, Monitoring and Evaluation and Research Manager of WAPCAS, who stood on behalf of Mrs Asamoah-Adu, the Executive Director of the Organisation, said the RDT was crucial to the fight against HIV and AIDS and that it was the reason the Organisation used part of its grant funds from the Global Fund to procure the test kits for the Ghana Health Service.
He said they were happy to be part of the national response towards ending the HIV pandemic in the country.
Mr Mahama said the outfit was a Civil Society Organisation, which was currently one of the recipients of the Global Fund and had supported the national HIV response for the past 25 years and would continue to be committed towards the fight against the disease.
Madam Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba, UNOPS Representative in Ghana said a lot of attention had gone towards the COVID-19 responses and that routine health services were declining, which led to the shortage of the test kits.
She said she was very pleased to be part of the donation exercise and also assured the Ghana Health Service that they were ready to help in any other way.
Madam Charles-Monwuba said her outfit was ready to bring in any other item that would be needed to support the health sector response in Ghana.
She urged the government and other Civil Society Organisations to call for assistance should they need their services on health-related issues.
Mrs Angela Trenton-Mbonde, UNAIDS Country Director, said the only way of knowing that a person was living with HIV was by having an HIV test.
She said testing was important and that it was critical for the health facilities to have a constant supply of test kits so that people who had HIV will know their status.
Mrs Trenton-Mbonde said a lot of progress had been made not only with testing but also with the provision of antiretroviral drugs.
She said health personnel and Ghanaians should not drop the guards against HIV because of covid-19, saying, HIV was still a health threat to everybody.
Mrs Trenton-Mbonde said the latest figures from the national AIDS control programme shows that Ghana had reached approximately 73 per cent of the target of 95 percent of the people living with HIV who should know their status by 2025.
She said that going forward, It would be important to ensure that HIV commodities and HIV services were put on the essential list of Health Services and that it would ensure that it was given priority among other health commodities.