Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. John Dramani Mahama, Vice President
8 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA, Vice-President of Ghana, said that HIV/AIDS was a key component of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda from 2010 to 2016 and was accorded a high level of political commitment, with the Ghana AIDS Commission placed directly under the Office of the President. Ghana was among the 29 African countries reported by the World Health Organization to have been able to reduce prevalence of HIV/AIDS over the past decade, with a reduction from a national high of 3.6 per cent in 2003 to 1.5 per cent in 2010. Those modest achievements were attributable to a massive scale up under the programme dubbed “Towards Universal Access — Ghana’s Comprehensive Antiretroviral Therapy Plan,” which resulted in an increase in the number of persons on antiretroviral treatment from under 6,000 in 2006 to over 58,000 by March 2011. Additionally, Ghana had developed a new five-year Preventing Mother-to-child Transmission plan, aimed at reaching 95 per cent of all pregnant women by 2013. Civil society organizations, such as People Living with HIV/AIDS Associations, were also active members in the national response.
Ghana recognized that the main challenge in the fight against HIV/AIDS globally was how to ensure universal access to prevention and treatment, as well as zero transmission of new HIV infections in children by 2015, he said. There was a need, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, to invest in improving the weak health systems and guaranteeing access to the poor living in remote and peri-urban slums. In Ghana, the community-based health planning and services initiative was being expanded to provide much-needed basic services to all. To implement universal access, second- and third-generation antiretroviral medicines would need to be developed and the costs of these drugs needed to be affordable. Ghana called on all developing countries to increase their domestic sources of funding for implementation, as a basis for calling on development partners to assist with needed resources. Ghana also called for increased funding for the overall response, including support to civil society organizations, expanding the health care delivery systems and making antiretroviral drugs available.