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Ghana Aids Commission needs $44m for antiretroviral drugs

The Ghana Aids Commission needs about 7 million dollars by the end of March 2015, to re-stock medicines lost to the central medical stores fire incident. The commission says it lost 44 million dollars to the fire.

hivThe commission says it lost antiretroviral drugs, condoms and other logistics to the fire that occurred in January this year. In the interim, the commission will need about 7 million dollars to re-stock its stores. It will also need the remaining 39 million dollars to re-stock all that it lost to the fire

Ghana’s HIV prevalence rate declined from 1.5 in 2010 to 1.3 percent in 2013 while mother to child transmission at birth reduced from 31 percent in 2009 to 9 percent in 2013.

While appealing for private sector support, the Director General of the commission, Dr. Angela El-Adas, explained that dwindling donor support, untimely government support and the Tema central medical stores fire had depleted the commission’s resources and affected the successful implementation of its mandate.

“When we started implementing the national strategic plan, just about 30,000 of people living with the disease were on treatment. But as I speak, using the current guidelines, some 63% are on treatment, but the goal post has already shifted which means, that we are back to square one. And we have to make more commodities and funds available to put more people on treatment” she noted.

The Minister of State in charge of public-private partnership, Abdul -Rashid Pelpuo, admitted private sector involvement in the national HIV response has been minimal.

“Due to the global economic fiscal crisis as well as Ghana attaining middle-income status our development partners are slacking in their determination to continue to support Ghana”.

The Vice President of the Association of Ghana Industries, Dr. Yaw Adu-Agyei Gyamfi, pledged the Association’s support to the commission. He was, however, quick to add that government’s efforts were not favouring industries to contribute their quota towards such initiatives.

With a chunk of anti-retro viral drugs currently being imported, Dr. Gyamfi called for more support for local pharmaceutical companies to help boost their production. Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, proposed tax exemptions for industries that are willing and ready to offer support to the Ghana Aids Commission.

He also advised the Commission to come clean on the brouhaha surrounding one of its Ambassadors, Joyce Dzidzor Mensah to maintain its credibility.

The Ghana Aids Commission is expecting about 9 million dollars from the private sector for its activities this year.


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