Ghana’s First Lady advocates mother-to-child HIV prevention

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

positive women.

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

the area.

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



Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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