The People for Health (P4H) National Advocacy Team has called on government to provide details on the sustainable funding for HIV prevention.
This was announced at the 2018 National HIV & AIDS Research Conference (NHARCON) held in Accra.
The National HIV and AIDS Funds Act 938 enacted by government in 2016, establishes the National HIV/AIDS Fund.
Section 22 of the Act states that sources of money for the fund include: moneys approved by parliament for the fund; grants, donations, gifts and other voluntary contributions; returns on investment of funds by the commission; moneys that the minister responsible for finance may determine with the approval of parliament; and other moneys or property that may become lawfully payable and vested in the board for the fund.
However, the P4H Advocacy Team believes more specific sources provided in Section 22 of the act should be made known for the funding promised at NHARCON, in addition to more detail about the extent of pending audits and reports. As for the Fund Management Committee, it is not clear whether the fund is even operational yet.
“We want to find out from government if the National HIV/AIDS Fund has been operationalized, when do they intend to release the funds promised at NHARCON, how will the funds be sourced, what monitoring mechanisms will be put in place to ensure that the funds will be used for the intended purposes, and what measures will be put in place to ensure the sustainability of the funds?” the group quizzed.
The group believes that government funding for HIV/AIDS is inadequate.
Currently, government allocates only 0.5 percent of the DACF to HIV programmes at the district level, which on average equals less than GHS 10,000 each year.
With this inadequate funding, the Ghana AIDS Commission expects district assemblies to implement 16 activities, including supporting HIV orphans, sensitization programmes on stigmatization and discrimination, mobilizing citizens to be tested, and organizing World AIDS Day celebrations.
All assemblies surveyed by P4H were unable to implement their assigned HIV-related roles and responsibilities due to lack of funding.
“As we continue to advocate that the DACF Secretariat raise allocations to HIV programmes from 0.5 percent to 2 percent, we urge government to provide details about the new sustainable funding to reduce the impact that HIV/AIDS is having on the people of Ghana,” the P4H Advocacy team mentioned.
By: Sally Gonyo (Intern)