Source: Ben LARYEA
The Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) has appealed to the public not to engage in stigmatising and discriminate against persons living with HIV/TB in the society.
According to CHAG, the gesture have been a major source of worry to stakeholders in the health value chain in gathering statistics and data for responds and treatment.
Dr. Benjamin Cheabu
It is for this reason that CHAG have implement an HIV/TB Community Strengthening System (CSS) to put in place measures and mechanisms to drastically reduce the stigma and discriminations against the victims.
Speaking at HIV/TB CSS encounter with the media in Accra, the Senior Programmes Manager of CSS, Dr. Benjamin Cheabu said such attitude from the public impact negatively on the conditions of the victims to the public health system of the country.
The one day programme, christened an engagement with the media was organised by the CHAG with financial support from the Global Fund spanning from January, 2021 to December, 2023 with collaboration from World Health Organisation (WHO) and relevant stakeholders in the health sector.
Data available at the Ghana Aids Commission have revealed that 340,000 people in the country are living with the disease with women having the highest number.
It is a three year health initiative and comprises with persons living with HIV volunteers, medical practitioners, health institutions among others to share and deliberate on issues, challenges and the way forward in finding lasting solutions to their ill health.
According to him, persons living with the disease can live a healthy life if the antiretroviral drugs are duly administered but in the case where they are left to their faith it increases self-isolation and they fall apart in the society.
Dr. Cheabu hinted that women form a higher percentage of the data hence his outfit have embarked on training in 20 health facilities in partnership with community volunteers to help sensitise the victims and the public, counsellors, pro bono lawyers on the need to cooperate with each other and explained however that it is all part of the effort held to address the stigma and discrimination.
“The level of education must be enhanced to challenge the victims to feel part of the society and to urge people to run test to know their status and apply the needed caution”, he said adding further that all stakeholders in the health sector must collectively work together to enable the country achieve its mandate of curbing HIV by 2030.