Don’t put our lives in danger again — Persons living with HIV appeal to Akufo-Addo

Health Dont put our lives in danger again — Persons living with HIV appeal to Akufo-Addo

The Secretariat of the Ghana Network of Persons Living with HIV (NAP+ Ghana), alongside individuals receiving care, has issued an urgent appeal to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, urging him to prioritize their health needs by ensuring the continuous availability of essential medications critical to sustaining their lives.

They expressed grave concern over the stock-outs of these vital medications, emphasizing the significant threat it poses to their health and the country's efforts in combating HIV/AIDS. They pleaded with the Ghanaian leader to guarantee the consistent availability and accessibility of these medications, ensuring they are not delayed at the port for extended periods, as recently experienced.

"The inability to access essential antiretroviral therapy (ART) due to stock-outs not only jeopardizes our health but also undermines the nation's HIV/AIDS targets," the group stressed.

In a joint communiqué signed by NAP+ President Elsie Aryeh and regional chairpersons, released in Accra on Friday, April 12, 2024, following an interactive session labeled "Special Time with NAP+ - ART@20 Engagement," the group outlined several critical measures for the government and stakeholders to undertake.

They advocated for the meaningful involvement of NAP+ Ghana in planning and strengthening supply chain management systems, improving forecasting and procurement processes, and enhancing investments in local manufacturing capacity to ensure consistent access to life-saving HIV/AIDS medications.

The group also applauded the recent clearance of essential medications that were previously stalled at the port, welcoming the development with resounding applause.

Furthermore, they proposed that the government engage NAP+ members in national deliberations on HIV care and delivery to leverage their expertise for positive impacts on their lives.

Expressing their commitment to collaboration, they pledged to work closely with the National AIDS/STI Control Programme (NACP), Civil Society organizations, and other stakeholders to address challenges such as loss to follow-up and medicine stock-outs. They emphasized the importance of community engagement, peer support networks, and improved healthcare service delivery to mitigate these challenges and ensure comprehensive care and support for individuals living with HIV in Ghana.

Finally, the group issued a stern warning to individuals within the network who exploit their positions for personal gain by soliciting funds for medication, emphasizing that such actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"NAP+ Ghana has zero tolerance for such acts and will take action to ensure they cease," they affirmed.

Their message underscored the collective commitment to building a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive healthcare system that prioritizes the needs and rights of all individuals living with HIV in Ghana.