The Ghana AIDS Commission in the Eastern Region in 2017 achieved a lot even with very little government support.
For the past three years, the Commission has not received the needed financial support that it needs to work. Financial support that has been received has been for key populations, i.e. Female Sex Workers (FSW), Men who have sex with men (MSM) and Prison inmates.
This however did not prevent the office from chalking some remarkable success in the Eastern Region with respect to getting the general populace aware of the existence of HIV and upgrading the knowledge base of relevant groups on HIV infection and treatment of People Living with HIV.
Golda Asante, A Technical Coordinator of the Commission tells healthylifegh of the work done in 2017.
Below are some of the Achievements made in 2017.
During the Kwahu Easter Paragliding Festival, 26 peer educators were mobilized from 3 districts to educate revelers on Basic Facts about HIV, and encouraged to know their HIV status.
45 HIV trained counselors were engaged to provide HIV testing services at vantage points.
7,094 people comprising 4,156 males and 2,938 females tested to know their status during the festival.
During the Easter period, A Pre-Easter HIV Testing Services was organized at Linda Dor Restaurant, Bunsu.
The Unit also partnered with the Akwapem North Municipal Assembly to organize HTS in churches in Akropong. In all a total of 600 people tested and reactive cases were referred for confirmation and treatment.
During the 6th March and Eastern Regional Trade Fair activities, the TSU organized a HTS, 2671 people comprising 1478 male and 1193 female tested to know their HIV status.
A major program organized by the TSU which needs trumpeting is the special program organized for Persons with Disability (PWD) in the Eastern Region.
The program dubbed “Leaving No One Behind! Special HIV Intervention for PWD in the Eastern Region”
The special program had the objectives of promoting safer sexual practice among PWDs to reduce sexual transmission of HIV and to increase effective utilization of HIV and STI prevention, treatment, care and support services.
The overall aim of this is to reduce sexual partners.
In all, 1000 PWDs benefited, including those in schools.
A special intervention for students in Senior High Schools in the New Juaben Municipality was undertaken. These included age specific messages which covered, Basic facts on HIV and AIDS: This comprised Mode of transmission, the implication of early sex on their lives, education and future, strategies they can adopt to prevent themselves from getting HIV infection and how to focus on their education.
Counseling was provided for those who needed.
During this project, trained counselors and Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) voluntarily shared their stories and experiences with the students.
During the period of the project, 7,547 students were reached.
The project was supported by the Bread and Roses Community Fund.
A major milestone in the work of the commission in the region was the engagement of the Local Council of Churches.
Through the engagement, Men’s fellowship, Women’s fellowship and Youth groups were reached.
77 Prayer camps were visited, through the visit, several leaders of these camps, Prophets, Prophetess, Pastors and other leaders are currently undergoing constant supervision and training.
The TSU, had countless interactions with the media, the unit also partnered with President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to provide training to fifteen journalists on the 30th August.
The training whipped up the interest of journalists in HIV and health related reportage.
During the World AIDS DAY, a day set aside to commemorate PLHIV, the TSU joined the Fanteakwa District and the New Juaben to commemorate the day with the Farmers Day.
On this day alone, 1st December, 1648 people made up of 737 male and 911 female were tested.