Vice President Amissah-Arthur in a group photograph with religious leaders.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur in a group photograph with religious leaders.

The Ghana AIDS Commission has appealed for the immediate procurement of more test kits and Anti-retroviral drugs to help the Commission manage the present national response.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur addressing the religious leaders
Vice President Amissah-Arthur addressing the religious leaders

According to the Commission it would need about one million test kits and 5,882 pieces of Anti-retroviral drugs to deal with the current national challenge.

Besides, the 1,000,000 test kits is sold at $1 each, amounting to $1 million (?3,200,000) whiles the 5,882 pieces of Anti-retroviral drugs is valued at $170 each totaling $1 million (?3,200,000).

Mr Jacob Sackey, Acting Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission made the statement at a meeting between the Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and Religious leaders at the Flagstaff in Accra.

The meeting between the two groups centred on ways of funding the Ghana AIDS Commission from local private sources due to dwindling donor support for the programme.

Representatives of the religious bodies at the meeting were Reverend Father Emmanuel Abbey-Quaye, National Catholic Secretariat, Apostle Dr Stephen Amoaning, Ghana Pentecostal Council, Bishop Ben Anum, National Association of Charismatic Churches (NACC), Dr Mubarak Osei-Kwasi, Ahmaddiya Muslim Mission, Joyce Darko Steiner, Christian Council of Ghana and Adam Musah Abubarkar, representing the National Chief Imam.

Mr Sackey stated that the Commission is in dire need of the test kits and Anti-retroviral drugs to manage HIV cases in the country.

He said as a result of Ghana?s lower middle income status, donor support for the Commission to manage the national response is declining.

He said the Commission therefore came out with a strategy to mobilize local resources to drive the national HIV response, adding that, the target of the strategy was to focus on the private sector.

Mr Sackey noted that the Commission has also met the various players in the private sector on the resource mobilization, adding that, the general resource mobilization strategy of the Commission is still on course.

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, who chaired the meeting, stated that, the major problem facing the Ghana AIDS Commission currently is funding.

He said currently, the government is constrained and cannot provide all the resources to the Commission to carry out its activities.

He said last year, the Commission proposed to test about 1.5 million people to know their HIV status but they were only able to test 40 per cent of that number.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur appealed to the religious bodies to assist the government to provide test kits to the Commission to enable the people to know their HIV status early and to minimize its spread.

?We have a responsibility to give cheerfully and not because we were compelled to do? he added.

The representatives of the religious bodies pledged to support the initiative by the Commission to raise funds from the private sector to carry out their programmes.

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