Obuasi, Ghana (PANA) - Ghana has recommitted itself to the war against HIV/AIDS, with Vice President John Dramani Mahama announcing that 150 million Ghana cedis (about US$94 million) would be made available to ensure the reduction of infections from 2011 to 2015.
The money would be used for campaign and education programmes, rehabilitation of persons living with HIV/AIDS and other sustainable programmes on the disease, he said
at Obuasi in central Ghana, during the 2011 World AIDS Day commemoration on Thursday.
The 2011 World AIDS Day, marked at Obuasi, a key gold mining town in Ghana, was under the theme: “Getting to Zero: The Role of the Youth.”
Vice President Mahama said the government would also initiate innovations that would ensure sustainability of anti-retroviral drugs to persons living with HIV/AIDS and other associated diseases.
He appealed to all stakeholders to focus on encouraging people to know their status, since HIV/AIDS was no longer a death sentence as was perceived in the past.
The Vice President said under the new strategic plan for HIV/AIDS, the focus would be on the elimination of mother-to-child transmissions, HIV/AIDS transmission, nationwide reduction of the disease by 50 per cent and the provision of adequate access for treatment and amelioration.
He appealed to corporate Ghana and the private sector to partner with government in fighting the disease, since curtailing it was increasingly becoming a difficult task for government alone, particularly with current waning donor support.
Dr Angela El-Adas, Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, said Ghana was among the five countries that had reduced their prevalence rates by 20 per cent and assured that the commission would step up educational programmes to meet their target of totally eliminating mother-to-child infections.
She promised that a programme would soon be rolled out to engage the youth to be peer educators to help reduce the current high rates of the disease among the 15 to 24 age groups.
About 22,000 patients have been on anti-retroviral drugs in the country since 2003.
-0- PANA MA/SEG 2Dec2011