The Chief Executive Officer of Send Ghana and Chief Party, People for Health (P4H) project Saphia Kamara has urged the Ghana Health Service and Ghana AIDS Commission to sustain the gains made during the implementation of the Peoples for Health project to increase public education on HIV.
HIV population in the country as of the end of 2020 stood at 346, 120 with a prevalence rate of 1.68%.
Figures from the Ghana Aids Commission (GAC) revealed that out of the 18,928 new HIV infections in 2020, a total of 5,211 are young people between the ages of 15 and 24.
The Eastern Region recorded 2,000 new infections same period. The situation has been blamed on the over-concentration of attention on Covid-19 at the expense of the HIV/AIDS campaign.
Saphia Kamara believes much more must be done to curb the rate of new infections.
“When we started in 2016 HIV/AIDS community, those who are positive they had their association [and] they did not want to meet with anybody, they didn’t trust the media, they didn’t trust the district monitoring committee but now there is trust, there is confidence, there is solidarity among marginalized groups. People who have HIV/AIDS, Mothers, the youth persons with disabilities. The spike in the rise of HIV our district monitoring committee members should be up to the task to intensify education to make sure people living with HIV/AIDS do not go underground, they shouldn’t be stigmatized,” He said
The Chief Executive Officer of Send Ghana and Chief Party, People for Health(P4H) project Saphia Kamara said this during the closing ceremony of the project in Koforidua the Eastern regional Capital.
The P4H project was implemented between 2016 and 2021 in 100 underserved Communities in Greater Accra, Eastern, Northern, North East, Savannah and Oti Regions.
The implementation of the project was led by a consortium comprising Send Ghana, Penplusbyte and the GNA.
The key partners of the project were Ghana Health Service, Ghana AIDS Commission, National Malaria Control Program, National Health Insurance Authority, 20 district citizen monitoring committees involving 375 grassroots groups.
P4H incorporated Send Ghana’s participatory monitoring and Evaluation Framework with consortium members’ innovative technological approaches to strengthen the capacities of government and civil Society for mutual accountability in family planning, maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, HIV/AIDS services for key populations, malaria preventions, and treatment and related interventions. accountability in family planning, maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, HIV/AIDS services for key populations, malaria preventions, and treatment and related interventions.
Saphia Kamara was pleased that “structures that peoples for health have developed, at the district level and the community level and at the regional level will be able to continue holding service providers accountable for more importantly mobilizing the community to champion their own health and has been the aim of USAID for the last five years”.
He added that “we were to build the capacity of civil society to be able to advocate. We have been able to mobilize the community to make demands so that when the district prepares their annual health plan, it will be scrutinized and make sure that their demands are met.
The Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong called for sustainability of the gains made during the implementation of the project to improve quality healthcare for people.
Dr. Akoto Ampaw, Medical Director at the Eastern Regional Hospital who chaired the event called on the public to be cognizant of the patients charter and exercise the same to demand quality healthcare.
According to the implementers of the P4H project, it achieved its objective of increasing the capacity of CSOs to effectively advocate on key issues in the health and HIV sectors; mobilize and empower communities to demand better and equitable service delivery; and strengthen CSO demand for accountability, compliance and equitable service delivery.
AMN | Health | Ohene Anochie’ Reprt.