Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, partners collaborate to end HIV stigmatization

By Sampson Manu || Obuasi Municipal, ISD II Contributor
Health Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, partners collaborate to end HIV stigmatization
DEC 8, 2023 LISTEN

In Ghana, there are currently 354,927 people living with HIV, with an estimated 16,574 new HIV infections in 2022.

The Ghana AIDS Commission has identified stigmatization and discrimination as a key challenge hampering the fight against the disease.

It is for this reason that AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine has teamed up with the AGA Health Foundation, GIZ and the Otumfuo Foundation to sensitize the people of Amamon in the Amansie Central district on the need to know their HIV status and end stigmatization of HIV victims.

Speaking to the media at a mini clinic at Amamon, Edmund Oduro Agyei, Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Land Management at AngloGold Ashanti, emphasized the significance of coming together on this occasion to mark World AIDS Day, adding that HIV is a global health challenge.

He expressed the importance of the mini clinic which seeks to deliver health care services to the doorsteps of the people. He said it is aimed at not only at raising awareness but also at providing general healthcare support to the people of Amamom and its neighbouring communities.

On stigmatization of HIV patients, Mr Oduro Agyei said despite the severity of the disease, the education from the health personnel has made the community aware that there is medication available to sustain patients.

Participants were screened for various diseases including HIV, Hepatitis, Blood pressure, diabetes and dental issues. There was also on-the-spot treatment for participants who needed medical care.

Edmund Oduro Agyei highlighted AngloGold Ashanti's commitment to collaboration and community engagement, citing their 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan.

"Under the health pillar, the plan aims to improve access to quality healthcare through impactful health initiatives, reflecting our dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of those we serve," he stated.

The Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Land Management at AngloGold Ashanti also stated that AGA's approach to educating people on HIV/AIDS aligns with the government's approach to AIDS awareness, utilizing radio announcements through their health directorate to effectively combat the virus.

Emmanuel Ansah, AngloGold Ashanti Health Information Officer, highlighted the prevalence of HIV in the Amansie Central District.

He noted an increase in the number of persons living with HIV, attributing it to galamsey activities that attract people from other towns to rural areas.

Mr. Ansah acknowledged the efforts of the Ghana Health Services in providing educational campaigns and urged Assembly support.

He mentioned the availability of self-testing kits provided by the government to help citizens know their HIV status and emphasized the importance of everyone participating in these efforts.

Dr. Justin Sonaa Dakora, Principal Medical Officer of the AGA Health Foundation suggested that the surge in HIV/AIDS cases to individuals unaware of their status and those on free medication achieving viral suppression, emphasizing the importance of the ABC approach (Abstinence, Be faithful, Condom use).

Nana Osei Nimako, the Bekwai Akwansrahene, expressed concern about the stigma of AIDS victims in Ghana, highlighting that in South Africa, the government supports those with HIV. He urged the community not to stigmatize but rather support individuals with HIV.

Emphasizing the importance of seeking medical help, he encouraged those with HIV to go to the hospital for proper medication.