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Dr Angela El-Adas, Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), has revealed that more than 2,000 children died of AIDS and related causes in the country in 2013.

She disclosed that about 2,407 children aged zero to 15 years were also infected with HIV in the same year.

She indicated that in Ghana, women were the majority of those affected by HIV and that together with children, formed about 70 percent of all cases.

Dr El-Adas added that according to the 2013 HIV Sentinel Survey, the Western Region maintained an HIV prevalence of 2.4 percent which was higher than the national average of 1.3 percent.

She disclosed that the GAC had collaborated with the Ghana chapter of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) to embark on a campaign dubbed: ‘Prevention of Mother-to-Children Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and Keeping Mothers Alive.’

The Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission stated this at the launch of the implementation of the campaign on prevention of mother-to-child transmission and reproductive health at Shama in the Western Region.

The launch, which was done by the First Lady, Lordina Dramani Mahama, was aimed at ensuring the health of women through advocacy for the prevention of HIV, breast and cervical cancers.

The First Lady indicated that as a member of OAFLA, she had a duty to promote PMTCT across the country.

She explained that the objective of OAFLA was to seek and reinforce policies and programmes against HIV and AIDS.

“This will be done through advocacy, resource mobilisation and improving the general well-being of women and children,” she indicated.

“Against this background, the Ghana chapter of OAFLA, in collaboration with the GAC and partners, is embarking on advocacy to support government’s efforts to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV,” she added.

The First Lady pointed out that currently, Ghana had over 1,600 sites providing prevention of mother-to-child transmission services where pregnant women were counselled and offered HIV testing.

Lordina Mahama, who is the First Vice President of OAFLA, noted that Ghana had intensified its prevention of cervical cancer by introducing the use of a prevention vaccine in some districts.

She, therefore, urged women to protect themselves by undertaking the pap-smear tests regularly.

She also encouraged women to test for HIV and go for regular breast self-examination by health professionals.

The Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo, was happy that the initiative focused on children and the role of adults and society in providing guidance to children and protecting them from HIV and AIDS.

Source: Daily Guide

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