20.06.2006 Health

US remain committed to HIV/AIDS fight in Ghana

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Accra, June 19, GNA - The government of Ghana should remain vigilant in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country, to keep the number down, a forum on HIV/AIDS has been told.

A statement from the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy in Accra on Monday said delegates at recent global conference on the American Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) noted that Ghana had the potential of leading Africa in innovative HIV/AIDS programmes through the creation of replicable sustainable models.

The statement said it was the first time that a US delegation from Ghana had been invited to attend the conference held in Durban, South Africa, from June 12 to 16, which brought together 1,100 researchers, scientists and HIV/AIDS advocates to share information on promoting HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support approaches. It said delegates discussed progress made to date in the fight against HIV/AIDS and areas for improvement as part of the American Emergency Plan's 15 billion dollar global initiative.

Ms. Pamela Bridgewater, US Ambassador to Ghana, who led the US delegation from Ghana to the conference, showcased Ghana's innovate HIV/AIDS prevention work, which targeted high-risk groups. The Ambassador also emphasised the importance of ongoing collaboration between donors, governments and non-governmental organisations to ensure comprehensive HIV/AIDS programming to reach vulnerable groups.

According to Ms. Bridgewater the US had contributed greatly to the global fight against HIV/AIDS and had done this in Ghana through bilateral programmes as well as through the Global Fund of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis for which it had provided about 30 per cent of the budget.

She said, in addition, resources from the Global Fund, the American Emergency Plan in Ghana contributed seven million dollars through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Ghana in 2005 to support the national HIV/AID response.

The Ambassador said the effort had helped in counteracting the effort of the epidemic in Ghana and had brought great hope to millions of people.

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