Ghana faces HIV crisis as AIDS Commission reveals rationing anti-retroviral drugs

Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, has highlighted the commission’s difficult situation in providing anti-retroviral drugs to individuals living with HIV. Due to financial constraints, the commission has been forced to ration the distribution of these critical medications.

During an interview on Eyewitness News, Dr. Atuahene explained that insufficient government support has led to the distribution of anti-retroviral drugs for HIV patients over a shorter period. Instead of the intended six months, patients now receive medicines for only two to three months, leading to significant challenges in meeting the demand for these life-saving drugs.

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To address the funding shortfall, Dr. Atuahene made a heartfelt appeal to individuals and groups to support the AIDS fund by contributing financially. The funding gap is substantial and hampers the commission’s ability to provide essential medication to those in need. He emphasized the urgency of the matter, comparing the situation to people reliant on oxygen, where running short of medicine could have devastating consequences.

Currently, there is no specific budgetary allocation for HIV programs, and although some assistance is occasionally received from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the funding gap remains high at 66%.

To contribute to the AIDS fund, Dr. Atuahene urged Ghanaians to dial USSD *989# to make donations.

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In related news, Ghana recorded a total of 16,574 new cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections in 2022, showing a slight decrease from the 18,036 infections reported in 2021. The new HIV infections affected individuals across all age groups, with specific figures including 13,706 cases for individuals aged 15 years and above, 2,180 cases for children between zero to 14 years, 645 cases for adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, and 739 cases for young people between 15 and 24 years of age. This data was released by the Ghana AIDS Commission in Accra on Tuesday.

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