Dr Christine Evans-Klock, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Ghana, has lauded Ghana’s election as Vice Chair of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board.
She described the election as a sign of confidence on how Ghana manages the AIDS response.
Dr Evans-Klock made the commendation on Tuesday at the launch of the 2015 World AIDS Day (WAD) at Teshie in Accra.
This year’s WAD is on the theme: “Fast Track: Meeting the Health Needs of Children Towards An HIV-Free Generation.”
Activities for the celebration include advocacy, media and community related activities a Durbar in Sunyani.
“I wish to commend the country on her efforts at reducing new HIV infections,” the Resident Co-ordinator said.
“UNAIDS has adopted the newly endorsed UNAIDS strategy emphasising the fast track approach to accelerate the AIDS response over the next five years to reach critical HIV prevention and treatments targets and achieve zero discrimination,” she added.
Dr Evans-Klock said the strategy calls for countries like Ghana to frontload investments to ensure that all positive pregnant women are tested and put on treatment in order to ensure zero new infections among children and to ensure that who are HIV positive have access to life saving treatment.
“Saving the lives of our children is not just a health issue but a human right issue. As the United Nations, we have shifted gears from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals, which means that the response needs to be more multi-sectoral, all inclusive, equitable and transparent.
“Ghana has to identify the critical bottlenecks preventing positive pregnant women from being put on treatment and to ensure that they are not left behind in the post 2015 Ghana agenda,” Evans-Klock noted.
“With regards to the fast track… 95 per cent of positive children will be put on treatment.”
Dr Angela El-Adas, Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission in her keynote address, said the Commission resolved to accelerate the implementation of comprehensive, targeted prevention and treatment programmes for all within the borders of the country.
She said: “This year marks a milestone in the national HIV response. We have come to the close of implementing the current five-year comprehensive Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS.”
“Our work over the last five-years has been evaluated by a team of independent consultants, along with our partners across the country,” she added.
Dr El-Adas said recommendations from the evaluation would form part of the evidence that would help develop a new National Strategic Plan 2016-2020.
She encouraged Ghanaians to take advantage of any HIV services at their door steps throughout the months of November and December. GNA