First Lady Lordina Mahama in a group picture with the medical staff of the Gwollu hospital
President of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV (OAFLA), Lordina Mahama, says her organisation has made great progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
According to her, prevalence rate has been on the decline for many years.
Mrs Mahama, who is on a three-leg tour of the Upper West Region, announced this when she presented medical supplies and equipment to the Nadowli and Gwollu District Hospitals, all in the Upper West Region.
“I must say that despite the broadened programme of activities the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS, to include cervical, breast and prostate cancers and ending child marriage, getting new HIV infections to zero remains a principal objective for us,” Mrs Mahama stated.
The first lady announced that OAFLA has almost achieved a virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and has also drastically cut down the rate of new infections.
She, however, expressed worry about HIV rates among adolescents which are not declining fast enough.
“This means we must be vigilant with this age group and enhance their access to quality healthcare and empower them to gain more control of their reproductive rights,” she urged.
Mrs Mahama stressed the need to keep adolescent children actively engaged, and the best way to do this, she believes, is to keep them in school.
That, she said, is the government’s purpose for the expansion of access to secondary education by the construction of new community day senior high schools.
“Girls must not be married off at an early age. They must be allowed to finish school first. Child marriage leads to increased maternal mortality, sexually transmitted disease and even fistulas,” she stated.
The OAFLA president stressed the need for all to get tested and know their status since early detection and placement on anti-retroviral enable infected persons to live a long fruitful life.
She reiterated the need for all to join hands with government to provide quality healthcare needed for Ghanaians.
Mrs Mahama pointed out that the medical supplies and equipment donated would not only make work easier and comfortable for health practitioners in the discharge of their duties, but would go a long way to save lives, particularly at community-based health facilities.
She, however, urged management and staff of the two hospitals to use the supplies and equipment judiciously, especially for the benefit of poor patients.
The Lordina Foundation has visited eight other regions, and Upper West is the ninth since it began its health mission. During this period, over 51 hospitals and health centres have been supported by the foundation.
In a speech, the Paramount Chief and President of the Gwollu Traditional Area, Kuoro Kuri-Buktie Limann, commended the first lady for leading the African first ladies to advocate and render health needs to Africans, especially the HIV patients, Ebola and cholera victims and malnutrition.
He also lauded the Lordina Foundation for rendering needed health and social services to all Ghanaians.
Established in 1967 and serving a population of over 55,000, the Gwollu District lacks medical laboratories, blood bank facilities, X-ray and diagnosis facilities.
The paramount chief appealed to government and the Lordina Foundation to help Gwollu with a vocational training school, a nurses’ training school and a small water project at Dr Hilla Limann Senior High School.
The first lady used the occasion to visit the tomb of the late President Dr Hilla Limann in Gwollu to pay her respect to the late president.