Provide uninterrupted supply of ARTs to achieve 90 90 90 HIV /AIDS agenda

By
Justina Paaga, GNA

Sekondi, Sept 16, GNA – Ms Cecilia Oduro,
Executive Director of Life Relief Foundation, an NGO, said the desire of Ghana
for an HIV /AIDS free generation and meeting the 90 90 90 target required
uninterrupted supply of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ATRs) and HIV commodities.

She said the introduction of ARTs has
substantially improved the survival of persons infected with HIV /Aids.

“The key factor in the effectiveness of ARTs
is the continuous supply and constant adherence to ATRs medications.

Ms Oduro said this at an HIV /AIDS
stakeholders review meeting jointly organised by the Sekondi Takoradi
Metropolitan Assembly and Life Relief Foundation to report on visits the
Foundation undertook in the regional medical store and ARTs sites in the
Metropolis.

The Executive Director of Life Relief
Foundation pointed out that the adherence to ATRs medications improved upon the
quality and life expectancy of people living with HIV and has significantly
reduced morbidity and mortality among them.

“It is clear that the constant supply and
availability of HIV commodities at the central level to the regional level and
all ARTs facilities would contribute immensely to eliminate HIV /Aids in the
country.”

She said it was also important to train more
medical officers to support

ARTs 
services and clinical care as well as strengthen pharmacy personnel to
be part of the Anti Retroviral Drug procurement as well as extend ARTs sites to
CHPs compounds  to make it easier for
people to  access  HIV commodities.

For his part, the Metro Director of Health
Services, Dr Samuel Aidoo hinted that more children born to HIV positive
mothers in the metropolis were testing negative for HIV and attributed the
success story to the early supply of ARTs to HIV positive expectant mothers.

He said the high proportion of clients put on
Anti Retroviral Drugs was resulting in viral depression, adding “we no longer
see AIDS patients these days thanks to the use of ARVs”.

He said there was a significant decrease in
opportunistic infection cases in the metropolis and called for engagement and
discussions with stakeholders on HIV /Aids management, stigma and
discrimination reduction.

Dr Aidoo stressed the need to strengthen the
referral system in the metropolis and called for frequent refresher training
among health workers on stigma and discrimination reduction.

He said it was also important for all to see
HIV /Aids prevention as a collective responsibility.

Dr Aidoo expressed concern about the fact that
new HIV /aids infection cases were becoming high among the 15-24 years old
group and stressed the need for the revival of HIV /Aids alert clubs in basic
schools through to tertiary institutions this he noted would catch them young.

He said stigmatization and discrimination
against HIV /Aids patients still remained a major challenge in the Metropolis
and asked that all hands must be on dock to address the situation.

Dr Aidoo said his outfit would collaborate
with the relevant stakeholders to intensify the education on the disease since
the campaign on it has drastically gone down.

Mr Anthonio Francis   the Regional   Monitoring and Education officer of the
Ghana Aids Commission said plans were advanced to integrate HIV activities into
local festivals to enable the commission reach out to many people especially
the youth.

He said inadequate funds has been a major
challenge with the Commission and hinted that the government was working hard
to get sustainable funding for the Commission to undertake its activities.

Mr Anthonio said by October, this year the
STMA reconstituted HIV Aids committee would be inaugurated to enable it execute
its mandate.

Life Relief Foundation is an NGO working to
ensure the availability of HIV aids commodities in the western region.

GNA

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