Dr Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi
Though the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has made strides in reducing HIV/AIDS infection among key populations such as commercial sex workers and gays/lesbians in the country, the commission is now facing a new danger among the general population, as the disease is spreading fast among pregnant women.
The group among the general population which is seeing an increase in the number of people infected in the past three years is pregnant women.
According to the Ghana AIDS Commission in the Upper West Region, the region has seen an increase in the number of pregnant women with HIV/AIDS in three major areas such as Nadowli-Kaleo, Jirapa and Wa.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE in Wa on Monday, the Upper West Regional Technical Coordinator for the GAC, Dramani Yakubu, disclosed that the 2016 HIV/AIDS Sentinel Survey carried out in the three areas showed an increase from a prevalence rate of 1.3 percent to 2.5 percent, which he explained, is slightly above the national average.
He said, “Research in the Upper West Region takes place in three areas namely Naadowli, Jirapa and Wa. Though we cannot say this is a replica of the true state of HIV/AIDS in the region, it is worrying that it is so in these areas. The research shows that it has been going up among pregnant women for the past three years. It has gone up from 1.3 percent to 2.5 percent, which is slightly above the national average of 2.4 percent.”
Mr Yakubu called for more funding to focus on the general population “which is now more at risk as the infection is spreading fast among them”.
“We have not relaxed in our education drive but our funding is for targeted populations such as commercial sex workers and we are achieving results in that direction. We have challenges with the general population which is the fact that HIV/AIDS infection among them is now increasing and this is worrying to us. We are appealing for funding to target the general population as well,” he emphasized.
FROM Eric Kombat and Lansah Musah, Wa