4 December 2012

Ghana Makes Inroads in Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

Photo: Mercedes Sayagues/PlusNews

Cape Coast — Ghana is making inroads in managing the spread of HIV through the Mother-to-child transmission among pregnant women as more pregnant women are willing to test and know their status to prevent mother-to-child transmission.

This came to light when a group of media personnel in the Central Region, who underwent a three-day intensive HIV training, under the auspices of Ghana Aids Commission (GAC) made a trip to the Cape Coast Metropolitan Hospital Mother-to Child Transmission Centre to practically observe how HIV is managed there.

It came up during the trip that more pregnant women are accepting to be tested according to Senior Nursing Officer in charge of the facility, Mary Damson.

She refuted the allegation that pregnant women are being coerced to undertake the HIV test explaining that the education campaign about the need to undergo testing had gone down well with pregnant women while the male counterparts are refusing to be tested.

According to Damson, out of 654 pregnant women tested for HIV from January to June this year, seven tested positive. The group then continued the trip to the ART Centre, the HIV treatment department and they were welcomed by Anastasia Mason.

She commended the government for directing Ministry of Health to waive off the Gh¢5 .00 paid by People Living With HIV (PLWHIV) for the Anti-retroviral drug adding that they find it very difficult to pay as most of them are poor.

Dr. Joseph Amuzu, Director of Policy and Planning at GAC who spoke on achieving universal access to comprehensive HIV service pointed out that 45% of males in the country patronise condom called them to practice safe sex by wearing condom.

He bemoaned the low contribution of the private sector to the response of HIV in the country. He further advised the media houses to refrain from given the airwaves and newspaper spaces for some herbalists to peddle falsehood about finding cure to HIV.

The media personnel were taking through some of the new terminologies for HIV reportage by John Eliasu Mahama, Technical Support Coordinator, GAC as a way of reducing stigmatization of PLWHIV by the general public owing to choice of words by media practitioners.

Earlier, PLWHIV Ambassadors, Gifty Torkonu and Rev. Azumah narrated their story about the ordeal they went through following the infection of the virus.

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