The First Lady of Ghana, Mrs. Lordina Mahama on Saturday advocated
sufficient and sustainable resources towards the prevention of
mother-to-child transmission of HIV and improve the reproductive
health of women against cervical and breast cancers.
She promised to use her position as a premier ambassador of the UNAIDS
Global Plan on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMCT) and a
member of the Organisation of African First ladies against HIV and
AIDS (OAFLA), to reinforce policies and programmes against HIV and
AIDS through advocacy, resource mobilisation and improve the wellbeing
of women and vulnerable.
Against this background, she said, the Ghana Chapter of OAFLA, in
collaboration with Ghana AIDS Commission and other partners had
embarked on advocacy to support government's efforts to eliminate
mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Mrs Mahama was speaking at the National launch of Mother-to-Child
Transmission of HIV at a durbar in Shama in the Western Region.
She said Ghana had achieved a lot of successes in its fight against
HIV with more than 1,600 sentinel sites being established across the
country providing PMCT services, including counselling of pregnant
women with HIV and testing.
The First lady indicated that PMCT had been integrated into sexual and
reproductive health services, which made it easy for would-be mothers
to access healthcare services.
She noted that despite these successes, there are a number of
challenges militating against the programme including certain
traditions that disempower women from taking personal decisions on
their health, as well as discrimination and stigmatisation against HIV
She said the programme had yielded positive outcomes at Eastern and
Brong Ahafo regions with more than 3000 people being screened for
cervical cancer and 82 abnormal cases being registered. Seven of the
cases are receiving treatment.
"I am happy to note that Ghana has intensified its prevention of
cervical cancer by also introducing the use of prevention vaccines in
some districts. As these pilot vaccines are evaluated and become more
widely available, they will serve as useful instruments to prevent
needless deaths of our women "she said.
She asked women to take regular breast self-examination and protect
themselves by regularly undertaking pap-smear tests.
The First lady expressed her commitment towards the campaign to
improve the health status of Ghanaians towards the attainment of the
Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The Acting Paramount Chief of Shama, Nana Akosua Gyamfiaba, said the
district health system offer PMCT with about 50 mothers benefiting
from the service.
She noted that malaria had been the major cause of deaths and mostly
reported at the Out Patients Department (OPD) whilst diarrhoeal
diseases and upper respiratory tract infections are also prevalent in
She said the good news is that 95 per cent of OPD attendants are
insured under the National Health Insurance Scheme which has
significantly improved the health status of the populace.
The Queen mother said although Shama has a health centre that provides
various health services to the people, she appealed to the government
to provide the area with a district hospital in view of the increasing