Statistics from the 2017 Ghana Health Service Survey (HSS) shows that there is 1.3 per cent prevalence rate of the HIV infection in the Upper West Region. It is estimated that about 10,000 people in the region are infected with the virus.
About 313,063 people, representing 1.67 per cent of Ghana’s population, according to the Survey, are HIV positive. It also said 15,694 people died of HIV/AIDS every year, raising public health concerns. Mr. Dramani Yakubu, the Upper West Regional Technical Coordinator of Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) made this known at the regional celebration of the World AIDS Day in Jirapa.
He expressed worry about the spread of the infection and called for active stakeholder involvement to tame the disease. “Test, treat to suppress and stop new infections,” was the theme chosen for this year’s event.
Students marched through the streets of Jirapa carrying placards with messages that sought to inform the public about preventive measures and control of HIV AIDS. “Stop stigmatization against people living with HIV”, “Get tested now”, “Know your status”, “Prevent mother to child transfusion”, “Practice safe sex”, “Don’t discriminate against victims of AIDS” and “There is hope for people living with HIV AIDS” read some of messages. The World Aids Day is a day set aside to sensitize people around the globe on prevention of HIV AIDS, control, sympathize with survivors and show support for the fight against the disease. Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, the Regional Minister, called for all to join in waging a relentless battle against the spread of the disease. “In war you do not relax simply because the enemy has become weak”, he added.
Madam Christine Bonbannye Amadu, the Jirapa Municipal Chief Executive, encouraged the people to go for voluntary testing, free counselling and treatment at the various health centres. “In order to prevent mother to child transfusion, pregnant women are tested and it is indirect way of testing their partners,” she said. As part of efforts to improve health care delivery, the Municipal Assembly in collaboration with GAC had constructed two unit Nurses quarters at Daguadadyiri and Kampala.
The assembly had additionally rehabilitated Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds in the two communities.