UN: Ghana chairs UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board for 2017

New York, US (PANA) - The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said Ghana is chairing its Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) for 2017.

The PCB serves as UNAIDS' governing body for the formulation of policies, programmes and funding needs in the fight against HIV/AIDS pandemic.

A UNAIDS statement on Thursday, obtained by PANA in New York, quoted Ghana's Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who will chair the two scheduled PCB meetings this year, as saying: "As Ghana takes the position as Chair of the Programme Coordinating Board, we will certainly work hard to justify the confidence reposed in us."

"We are committed to working closely with UNAIDS to achieve our collective goal of making our world AIDS-free by 2030," said Mr. Agyeman-Manu.

The statement disclosed that Ghana's President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will also address the PAC meeting in June.

UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Jan Beagle, who recently visited Ghana to discuss the countries’ PCB chairmanship, as well as advances and challenges in the HIV response, with the government and other key stakeholders, welcomed Ghana’s leadership on the PCB.

Ms. Beagle said: "As Chair, Ghana brings experience and energy to the Programme Coordinating Board. We are looking forward to Ghana’s leadership to drive forward the implementation of the UNAIDS 2016–2021 Strategy and to help us make the end of AIDS a reality."

She also held talks with Ghana's Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, the First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway.

The UNAIDS official also met with members of civil society, including people living with HIV, networks of widows, members of the United Nations country team and key development partners in the Ghanaian AIDS response.

The statement noted that Ghana has made significant strides in its AIDS response through integrated multisectoral approaches. Results include a reduction of new HIV infections by 57 per cent between 2000 and 2015 and of AIDS-related deaths by 33 per cent in the same period, as well as the almost doubling of HIV testing among women since 2008.

"Despite gains, overall HIV testing remains relatively low, in part owing to stigma and discrimination, but as more than 90 per cent of pregnant women attend antenatal care, there are opportunities to increase levels of testing and treating all HIV-positive pregnant women.

"This could eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV (in 2015, some 2200 (1600–2900) babies were born with HIV in Ghana) and contribute to improving treatment coverage, which is currently at 34 per cent (29–41 per cent)," it stated.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 30March2017

30 Março 2017 15:13:02

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