Inception meeting on AIDS project held in Takoradi

Takoradi- An inception meeting on the USAID “strengthening Care Continuum Project” under the United States Government President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, has been held with a call on stakeholders to ensure an integrated approach to help achieve the ambitious fast track target of 90/90/90 by 2020.

Mr Mark Kowaiski, the Associate Director of John Snows Research Institute (JSI) and the Senior Advisor of the project, said they are working in collaboration with the Population Council to improve the capacity of its partners to provide quality and comprehensive HIV devices for key population and people living with AIDS.

The Project would use a coordinated and sustainable country owned and led approach, the JSI would improve upon key populations’ access to and use of HIV services while reducing stigma and discrimination in the health settings, he said.

The care continuum provides technical and financial support to districts within the Western Region and would maintain strategies for offering HIV testing and linking identified key populations to health facilities for epidemic control.

Dr Henry Nagai, Chief of Party, USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project, said the strategy offers all stakeholders a sharp focus to achieve epidemic control by September 2020.

He said achieving epidemic control called for six fold increase in the number of people linked and retained in treatment in the region through effective identification of new cases, link to treatment and staying on it to achieve the 90/90/90 target.

The Chief of Party said the inception meeting was critical and as a first step for bringing all partners together and ensuring that everyone supported the achievement of the targets.

“Achieving epidemic control in this region will demonstrate that it can be done in other regions and at the national level”, he said.

Dr Samuel Aidoo, the Regional Coordinator, said maximising and focusing on the Region would yield significant results despite the limited time.

He said the Region was ready to work with the PEPFAR Regional Operational Plan to attain epidemic control in Region.

Source: Ghana News Agency