Ashanti Regional Health Directorate launches HIV PMTCT operational plan

    /    Sep 29, 2016   /     Ashanti, Health  /    0 Comments  /    304 Views

The Ashanti Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service(GHS) in collaboration with UNICEF has launched an Operational Plan for the elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV in Kumasi.

The plan aims to contribute towards the elimination of HIV transmission from mother to child and improvement of the health of the family, especially maternal, new-born and child health within the context of the HIV and AIDS response in Ghana.

The plan will also help identify 95% of HIV infected infants through the Early Infant Diagnose (EID) programme linked to anti-retro viral therapy within the first 12 months of age.

The process for development of the elimination of MTCT Operation Plan is expected to significantly contribute towards acceleration of intervention for the elimination of MTCT of HIV by 2018.

Officials of the Directorate say the prevention of Mother-to-child transmission is a highly effective intervention and has huge potential to improve both maternal and child health.

Speaking at the launch, Ashanti Regional HIV Coordinator, Dr Thomas Agyarko Poku who gave an overview of HIV cases in the region, revealed that over 16,000 of the populace are living with HIV in the Ashanti Region.

He however indicated that over 80% of the number could only be traced to be put on treatment.

Dr Agyarko Poku expressed concerns over how some HIV patients are resorting to spiritualists and prayer camps to heal the virus rather than visiting the hospitals for treatment.

“Our major difficulty is that we share the care with other care providers like the Shrines and other Churches. Once the person is diagnosed positive and recorded, you won’t see the person again until they are brought in bad situations. Over the past six months, we have recorded such figures because the number of people who come there to die are those from such places. You can testify that those who are put on treatment are doing very well”.

Dr Agyarko Poku also disclosed that persons diagnosed positive with HIV will from 1st October be put on treatment under the Treat All policy which is being implemented by Government through the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Under the policy, all persons diagnosed positively with HIV will be put on treatment within one week.

Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Alexis Nang-Beifubah attributed the challenges in the prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, Early Infant Diagnose (EID) and Pediatric HIV care to the major stigma especially from health workers who are not at the HIV treatment centers.

He has therefore called on stakeholders in the health sector to play a role towards the elimination of the stigmatization against persons living with HIV.

Source: Hafiz Tijani/Kapital971.com

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