Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, has disclosed that due to financial limitations, the commission occasionally finds itself compelled to limit the distribution of anti-retroviral drugs among individuals living with HIV.
During an interview on Eyewitness News, Dr. Atuahene elaborated on the situation, pointing out that insufficient government backing has resulted in the dispersion of medications to HIV patients over a span of two to three months, instead of the intended six-month provision.
He emphasized the commission’s struggle to fulfill the demand for these drugs, which has led to the necessity of implementing rationing measures.
Dr. Atuahene issued an appeal to both individuals and groups, urging them to contribute to the AIDS fund as a means to alleviate the financial shortfall.
He underscored the magnitude of the funding shortfall, creating a challenging situation in ensuring vital medication reaches those who require it urgently.
“We are confronted with a substantial funding deficit, and running low on medicine is akin to removing oxygen from individuals dependent on it, resulting in an inevitable outcome of death. At present, there is no designated budget allocation for HIV programs.”
“Occasionally, we receive modest contributions from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The funding gap stands at 66%. We earnestly appeal to the Ghanaian populace to show their support by utilizing the USSD code *989# to make donations towards bolstering the AIDS fund.”
In 2022, Ghana documented a total of 16,574 fresh instances of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections.
This number contrasts with the overall count of 18,036 infections documented in the preceding year of 2021.
This information was disclosed through a statement released by the Ghana AIDS Commission in Accra on Tuesday.
The newly reported 16,574 cases of HIV infections encompass various age groups.
Among individuals aged 15 years and above, there were 13,706 infections, while children aged zero to 14 years accounted for 2,180 cases. Adolescents aged 10 to 19 years represented 645 cases, and young people aged 15 to 24 years constituted 739 cases.