Antiretroviral medications for persons living with HIV have run out in several hospitals across the country forcing medics to ration one bottle of drugs for three patients.
The Ghana Network of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (NAP+ Ghana), fears the situation “can cause increased defaulter rates, needless AIDS-related deaths and increased new infections”
In a statement signed by its National President Elsie Ayeh, NAP+ bemoaned, “Members of our community since July this year, have experienced intermittent shortage resulting in rationing of ARVs being recurrent for clients in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Central and Ashanti Regions.”
The statement further pointed out that Ghana will continue to lose out on its UNAIDS target of ensuring that 90% of persons are tested for HIV; 90% of patients are placed on antiretroviral therapy and 90% on ARVs achieve viral suppression.
“For the Ghana Network of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (NAP+ Ghana) and all persons living with HIV, the time is running out for us, as we achieved 55:77:68 as against the UNAIDS 90:90:90 Fast Track targets. We cannot afford to sit aloof to watch all the efforts, results and gains in HIV care, treatment and support go down the drain due to lack of political leadership and inefficiencies in our health systems and health financing,” the statement read.
The team further asked, “GOVERNMENT TO CONSCIENCIOUSLY OWN THE HIV AND AIDS RESPONSE IN GHANA.” THE SHORTAGE OF ARVS FOR BOTH ADULTS AND PEDIATRICS MUST STOP.”
The situation could affect the lives of some 342, 307 males, females and children living with HIV/AIDS if not resolved with urgency.