Ghana will require about $132 million to successfully combat new HIV infections and ensure its eradication by 2030.
There is currently a funding gap of over 86 million dollars due to the fact that funds from donor partners like the Global Fund, UNAIDS, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) of the United States total only $45.2 million.
Ghana may fall short of its goal to eradicate the disease by the deadline if it does not make up the funding shortfall.
This information was revealed in an interview given by Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, on Tuesday in Accra, outside of a USAID Focal Country Collaboration (FCC) Plan Workshop hosted by SEND Ghana.
Dr. Atuahene warned that the circumstance might undermine the progress made in lowering new infections over time.
“We have to find a way of filling this huge funding gap, otherwise, we stand the risk of reversing the gains that we have spent many years and resources making,” he said.
With the help of USAID, the Global Fund, UNAIDS, and the Government of Ghana (GOG), the FCC Plan aims to advance the 10-10-10 society enablers by promoting human rights, reducing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, key populations, and tuberculosis.
The commission added that the workshop’s goal was to evaluate and prioritise the FCC Project’s activities for the following two years.
The DG urged Ghanaians to help close the funding gap by supporting the AIDS Commission.
He also demanded financial assistance for organizations with constitutional authority to defend the rights of vulnerable groups like PHLV (People Living with HIV/AIDS).
Dr. Atuahene remarked that the protection of human rights was a function of the law and said that these organizations had constitutional and legal mandates to uphold the law and safeguard the rights of the nation’s citizens.
He claimed that focusing funding on only non-governmental organizations at the expense of such organizations was harmful to the effort to combat the disease.
“NGOs can contribute, but they have serious limitations when it comes to, you know, formulating laws and enforcing laws. That is not within their domain. And so, when we concentrate funding in the hands of NGOs at the exclusion of these state agencies, with the legal mandate for human rights and law enforcement, we end up not getting the optimal benefits of the investment we make with such resources.
“So, I am emphasising that we give funding to such bodies through the Ghana AIDS Commission so that those bodies, like the Attorney General’s Department, the judicial system and all the law enforcement agencies, the prison service, the police, and the others, can all play a critical role in reducing stigma and eliminating stigma and discrimination in this country. And so, we have to work with them,” he added.
The Chief of the Party for USAID-CLM and FCC, Siapha Kamara, urged crucial collaborators to increase cooperation in order to lessen the stigma associated with PLHIV.
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