Don’t put our lives in danger again! – Persons living with HIV appeal to President Akufo-Addo

The Secretariat of the Ghana Network of Persons Living with HIV (NAP+ Ghana) alongside individuals receiving care have sent an SOS message to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to prioritize their health needs by ensuring that the country does not run out of essential medications that contribute to sustaining their lives.

Stock-out of these essential medications, they noted, put their lives in danger, appealing to the Ghanaian leader to ensure their availability and access at all material times and never let them be locked at the port for more than two months as recently witnessed in the country.

“The inability of individuals to access essential antiretroviral therapy (ARV) due to stock-outs not only undermines our health but also, poses a significant barrier to achieving our national HIV/AIDS targets”, the group noted.

In a six-point communiqué jointly signed by the President of NAP+, Elsie Aryeh and the association’s regional chairpersons and released in Accra on Friday, April 12, 2024, after an interactive session dubbed “Special Time with NAP+ – ART@20 Engagement”, the group urged the government and relevant stakeholders to develop and implement robust long-lasting policies and mechanisms to ensure consistent and uninterrupted access to life-saving HIV/AIDS medications.

These include the meaningful involvement of NAP+ Ghana in the planning and strengthening of the supply chain management systems, enhancing forecasting and procurement processes, and increasing investments in local manufacturing capacity.

“Together, we can ensure that every person living with HIV in Ghana has access to essential medications and in the right quantities”, they affirmed.

They group paused to welcome the news of the clearing of essential medications that were locked at the port for several months with a thunderous applause.

Continuing, they proposed to the government to engage NAP+ members at every stage of national deliberations on HIV care, delivery and related matters to enable them to bring their expertise to bear in actions that will impact their lives positively.

“As stakeholders deeply invested in the well-being of our community, we are committed to working collaboratively with the National AIDS/STI Control Programme (NACP) and other relevant stakeholders to develop and implement sustainable solutions to address this challenge. We believe that by enhancing community engagement, strengthening peer support networks, and improving community-level healthcare service delivery, we can mitigate the impact of lost to follow-up and ensure that every individual living with HIV in Ghana receives the care and support they need to thrive”, the communiqué in part read.

To sanitize their operations, the group also sent a note of caution to some miscreants within the network who have turned their activities into an income-generating venture by soliciting funds before medication is administered to clients to desist from such acts as the medicines are given to them for free.

“To turn it into an income-generating venture is a crime. NAP+ Ghana has zero tolerance for such acts and will take action to ensure such acts do not occur”, the group warned.

They reiterated their unwavering commitment to partnering with the government through the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), National AIDS/STIs Control Programmes (NACP) of Ghana Health Service, Civil Society organisations, and other relevant stakeholders to address the challenge of loss to follow-up and medicine stock-out in Ghana, stressing that “by working together, we can build a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive system that prioritizes the needs and rights of all individuals living with HIV”.

Related posts

Leave a Reply