Non-enforcement of policy affecting HIV-AIDS fight in Ghana – US Ambassador
The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sallivan, has bemoaned the non-enforcement of Free-health services policy for HIV-AIDS patients in Ghana.
Speaking at the Western Regional strategy launch of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 fast-track goal in Sekondi, the Ambassador noted that the success of the goal will depend highly on the strict enforcement of policies on free services for HIV patients.
“We must work together to monitor and eliminate all user fees for HIV/AIDS related services. We must identify new cases. Make those who are tested HIV/AIDS positive to treatment and ensure that they stay on treatment.”
She explained that even though HIV testing, treatment and related services are free, patients are obliged to pay.
This hinders patients from accessing life-saving services due to financial barriers.
“According to Hoarlasi, there are no fees in HIV testing, treatment and related services. Yet in reality people sometimes do pay fees for services that should be free for patient. Some end up paying fees for patient folders or for transporting their blood samples to laboratories. As a result our sisters and brothers are unable to access life-saving services due to financial barriers.”
UNAIDS aims that by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy. By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
She further encouraged stakeholders to help achieve the goal in the Western Region.
“Together we will focus like a laser to achieve the UN AIDS 909090 fast-track core here in the Western Region over the next year.”