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20.02.2006 General News

HIV/AIDS stakeholders meet on Universal Access


Accra, Feb. 20, GNA - A consultative meeting on HIV/AIDS has called for specific laws and policies on the pandemic and People Living with HIV/AIDS to meet the universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support by the year 2010.

The meeting, held on Friday brought together stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS headed by Ghana AIDS Commission, identified some technical obstacles such as lack of comprehensive national database for planning, programme management, inadequate harmonization, coordination and funding arrangements between multilateral institutions, international partners and national stakeholders. Other stakeholders included the National AIDS Control Programme, UNAIDS, the World Health Organisation and the British Department for International Development (DfID)

The meeting also identified the operation of parallel systems of reporting and funding as another obstacle in achieving universal access and said it was also difficult to forecast resources that development partners would make available to support the national response. The meeting, which was chaired by Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa of the AIDS Commission, was to assess the strength and weaknesses of scaling up the national response towards Universal Access in Ghana by the year 2010.

The UN Member States in 2001 at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS made a Declaration of Commitment with targets to scale up the global HIV/AIDS response and to reverse the pandemic. After the UN Assembly special session, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established to provide low and middle income countries with additional funds to fight AIDS and other diseases.

The Global Task Team's recommendations and the communiqu=E9 issued at the end of G8 Summit spurred international commitments towards scaling up Universal Access.

The Universal Access is a broad movement towards achieving renewed global commitment to establish, accelerate and expand existing nationally led owned HIV comprehensive prevention, treatment care and support programmes.

Participants at the end of the meeting agreed that there was the need for long-term financial commitments by the Government, a comprehensive human resource plan that would deal with national resource issues and improve HIV/AIDS service delivery infrastructure. They suggested that the issues and concerns raised be addressed as early as possible to ensure Universal Access to prevention, treatment care and support. 20 Feb. 06