Ghana’s HIV prevalence rate reduces

Dr Nii Akwei Addo, Programme Manager of the National AIDs Control Programme (NACP), on Tuesday said the prevalence rate of the HIV virus as at last year had reduced to 1.37 per cent as compared to 3.6 per cent in 2000.

He said a study last year showed that Ghana had recorded 77 per cent reduction compared to 22 other African countries whose prevalence rate is still high.

Dr Addo was answering questions posed to him by members of the Public Account Committee during the examination of the Auditor’s General’s report on Management and distribution of anti-retroviral drugs in Ghana.

Institutions that appeared before the Committee included NACP, Ghana Health Service, Central Medical Stores, Regional Medical Stores, Sandema Hospital, KNUST Hospital, Yendi Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Nkwakwa, Ghana AIDS Commission,, Danadams Pharmaceuticals Limited, Ghana Revenue Authority and Ghana Supply Commission Limited.

He said Global Fund had been providing funding in the form of grants for the acquisition of the Anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs, but in 2010, Global Fund failed to accept a proposal for funding, adding that Global Fund had redirected the proposal and selected prevention from mother to child transmission.

Dr Addo said NACP had since its establishment been providing anti-retroviral drugs, noting that, its shortage was due to reduction in the dispensing of the drugs which is done at a minimum of GHc5.00.

Dr Angela El-Das, Director General of the AIDS Commission, said the Commission had to raise its own funds and that last year the Ministry of Finance provided GHc5.7 million for the procurement of anti-retroviral drugs.

It was observed that three out of 24 treatment sites visited did not pay the monies (GHc5.00) collected into any bank account.

The report cited that at Sandema and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Hospitals (KNUST), an amount of 2,075.00 cedis collected were being kept while at Yendi the revenue officer kept the money in his personal account.

The Holy Family Hospital at Nkwakwa had put the monies collected in a fixed deposit in a bank for the hospital which showed that the principal and the accrued interest amounted to 40,829,48 cedis as at October 2009.

Other issues cited were the partial delivery of ARV, delays in clearing of ARVs drugs from Airport.

The Auditor General report made certain recommendations to the effect that NACP should through the Ministry of Health impress on government to buy ARVs from local manufacture like Danadams now that Global Fund would not finance the drug any longer.

NACP should retrieve monies collected by individual staff members and those invested in private accounts with the accrued interest and sanction staff members who are found to have violated directives from the Director General of Ghana Health Service to lodge the money in hospital account.

Original article – GhanaWeb – August 22, 2013

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Filed Under: AIDS AwarenessFeaturedGeneralGlobal HealthMarginalized Populations in HealthcareScientific Focus

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