ActionPlus expresses worry on low HIV/AIDS education in the country
ActionPlus Foundaton, a Non-Governmental Organization operating in UK and Ghana concurrently have expressed worry at the seeming silence of the Ghana AIDS Commission over HIV/AIDS education in the country.
Apostle Fred Annin, the Founder of ActionPlus Foundation made this known during a news conference organized in Accra.
In a media briefing, the Founder of ActionPlus Foundation, Apostle Annin called on all stakeholders and other organizations to work together to ensure Ghana achieve the UNAIDS target of ending the HIV/AIDS by 2030.
According to the 2018 UNAIDS statistics, 37.9 million people globally are living with HIV whereas 1.1 million people die from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) related illnesses with 320 million people dying from AIDS related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.
Current data available shows that the prevalent rate of HIV infection in Ghana stands at 1.7 percent whiles in 2017, the figure stood at 1.47 percent which made Ghana the 34th country with the highest rate out of 196 countries in the world with Swaziland recording the highest rate.
The Foundation commended successive governments for various roles played in the fight against HIV/AIDS with some significant progress in the fight against the menace, Apostle Annin said more needs to be done in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Apostle Annin stated that with ActionPlus experience in the HIV/AIDS campaign over the years, they have realized that when people hear more about HIV they become aware the virus is still in existence and therefore take positive precaution to prevent acquiring the virus.
Apostle Annin mentioned that the HIV/AIDS menace is still with us and silence on the disease makes it thrive.
Giving some national and regional statistics Apostle Annin said the Greater Accra and Ashanti Region have the highest prevalence rate of 3.2 percent while the Northern Region has the lowest rate of 0.6 percent.
The Western Region followed with 2.4 percent taking the third position and Volta Region occupying the fourth position with 2.3 percent he mentioned that their concern as an advocacy group is that if care is not taken Ghana might relapse into a high prevalence rate.
He stressed that the silence on HIV prevention campaign in recent times is very alarming. Apostle Fred Annin observed that stigma around HIV and discrimination against people living with HIV is still a barrier against HIV intervention and young people are also getting infected daily because of lack of HIV education in schools and other public places.
He added that with ActionPlus experience in Ghana for the past 12years if urgent steps are not taken to break the ongoing silence in the awareness creation prevalence rate might go high again.
Apostle Fred Osei Annin, reaffirmed the Foundation’s continuous campaign against the disease emphasizing that they will and take the HIV education to every corner of the country although they have limited resources.
Madam Yasmin Dunkley an HIV/AIDS trainer from the United Kingdom, who is in the country to partner Actionplus train health experts on HIV/AIDS related issues stated that 330,000 people are living with the HIV virus.
She asked that persons who do not know their status get tested since there is so much new information and technological innovation available to end HIV transmission.
Actionplus Foundation is a Christian Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, operating in the UK and Ghana.
Actionplus Ghana commenced operation in Accra-Ghana in 2007 and now has branches all over the country.
The Foundation aims at ensuring a world where people affected with HIV do not experience poverty, ill-health and prejudice.
Apostle Annin has called on the government to invest in HIV/AID education and campaign to sustain the gains made over the years rather than concentrating on the fight against the epidemic.