Anti-retroviral drugs shortage hit AIDS Commission

Story: Kwadwo Owusu Aduomi

The Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, has revealed that the commission is sometimes forced to ration anti-retroviral drugs for persons living with HIV due to financial constraints.

In an interview with the medai, Dr Atuahene explained that the lack of government support has led to distributing medicines to HIV patients between two to three months instead of the allocated six months.

He emphasized that the commission faces challenges in meeting the demand for drugs, leading to the need for rationing.

Dr Atuahene called on individuals and groups to support the commission by donating to the AIDS fund to bridge the funding gap.

He highlighted that the funding gap is significant, making it difficult to provide essential medication to those in need.

“We have a huge funding gap, if we run short of medicine, it’s like people who are on oxygen and the obvious end is death when oxygen is taken off.  Currently, there’s no specific budgetary allocation for HIV programmes.

“Once in a while, we get something from National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The funding gap is 66%. We need Ghanaians to support us by dialling USSD *989# to donate to support the AIDS fund”.

Ghana recorded a total of 16,574 new cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections in 2022.

The figure is against a total of 18,036 infections recorded in 2021.

This was contained in a release issued by the Ghana AIDS Commission in Accra on Tuesday.

The 16,574 new HIV infections cut across all ages.

For people who were 15 years and above, infections recorded were 13,706; children from zero to 14 years were 2,180; adolescents from 10 to 19 years were 645 and young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years were 739.

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