Ghana AIDS Commission Urges Domestic Funding to Sustain HIV and AIDS Treatment

Dr. Kyereme Atuahene, Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), has emphasized the critical need for increased domestic funding to sustain HIV and AIDS treatment programs in Ghana. This call comes in light of significant reductions in donor funding over the last two decades.

According to Ghana News Agency, donor funding for HIV and AIDS response in Ghana has declined from 75 to 33 percent, creating substantial funding gaps. He stressed the importance of domestic funding to ensure that the progress achieved in HIV and AIDS treatment is not lost. His remarks were made during the media launch of the 2023 World Aids Day, to be commemorated on December 1, under the theme ‘Let Communities Lead’.

Dr. Atuahene highlighted that Anti-retroviral therapy (ART), introduced in Ghana twenty years ago, has saved thousands of lives, with the number of persons on ART rising from 9,790 in 2020 to 13,539 in 2022. However, he warned that Ghana risks losing the benefits of scientific advancements in ART if funding remains entirely donor-dependent.

To address this funding challenge, the Ghanaian government established the national HIV and AIDS fund. Dr. Atuahene noted that the Commission is currently mobilizing resources from individuals and corporate entities in Ghana to support this fund.

Dr. Leticia Adelaid Appiah, Executive Director of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), echoed the global significance of HIV and AIDS as a health concern. She emphasized that HIV response requires a societal approach, with everyone playing a role. She advocated for empowering communities with information, knowledge, and resources to make beneficial decisions for themselves and society.

Dr. Kweku Afriyie, Executive Oversight Minister for the Ghana AIDS Commission, pointed out Ghana’s lag in achieving the United Nations’ 95-95-95 treatment target by 2025 and the goal of ending AIDS by 2030. He addressed the challenges of stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV, noting the government’s efforts to normalize HIV and AIDS as an ailment.

Mrs. Linda Asante-Agyei, Vice President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), stressed the role of the media in empowering communities and achieving HIV and AIDS response targets. She called for accurate information sharing and pledged the media’s continued support to the GAC and other stakeholders in combating HIV and AIDS.