THE OFFICE OF THE BAWKU MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY HOLDS ITS FIRST QUARTER MUNICIPAL AIDS COMMITTEE MEETING
It is estimated that about 36.7 million people across the globe are living with HIV and 78.1 million people have been infected with HIV since the epidemic began according to the UNAIDS report on HIV & AIDS, 2017. This makes the epidemic a public concern for all and calls for all the seriousness needed to tackle it. The epidemic is responsible for the decline in social and economic development of affected communities as well as the loss of millions of lives. In its efforts to help stop the spread of the disease, the Office of the Bawku Municipal Assembly held its first quarter meeting of the Municipal AIDS Committee on the 11th of March, 2021. The Committee is made up of various stakeholders including representatives from decentralized departments, the Traditional Authority as well as religious bodies.
In his opening remarks, the Municipal Coordinating Director urged members not to be complacent in their fight against the HIV & AIDS pandemic as the Coronavirus had overshadowed HIV & AIDS. He added that the Municipal Assembly would continue to support in diverse ways to help curb the spread of the HIV and AIDS.
As part of the agenda, Yakubu Mahama, Municipal Disease Control Officer also gave a presentation on HIV & AIDS statistics for 2020. He touched on objectives of the PMCT and HTC & ART services and strategies to achieve them. The objectives included the achievement of zero Mother-to-Child-Transmission as well as minimizing loss to follow-up clients and AIDS related deaths. He also touched on their achievements which included maintained reasonable time waiting, improved treatment adherence, monitoring and supervision among others. He also talked about the cumulative ART service, the PMTCT uptake, HIV screening from 2018 to 2020. The presentation also included best practices, challenges and the way forward. Some of the challenges included inadequate space at the ART site of Bawku Hospital, stigma and discrimination, inadequate means of transport for tracing of defaulters among others.