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Our recipients of care should not be afraid of LGBTQ Bill passage – NACP

Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo, Programmes Manager of the National Aids Control Programme (NACP), has asked seekers of care for sexually transmitted diseases to not be driven off by fear following the passage of the bill on human conduct.

Parliament passed the Family and Human Values Bill and is awaiting the President’s assent.

Data show that a significant number of STIs were being hosted by members of the same sex and queer communities and Dr Addo assured them that their health needs would not be affected even in the event of the law’s final passage.

‘All our recipients of care should not be afraid that when we are treating them, they will be arrested,’ the Programmes Manager said at the ongoing joint HIV/Tuberculosis Annual Review Meeting in Ho.

Top of the agenda at the three-day joint meeting was the overview of programmes for the years 2024 to 2026, being powered by the Global Fund’s Grant Cycle 7 (GC7), which is a 234 million dollars to help fight HIV/TB and Malaria in the country.

A target of 1.9 million p
eople would be tested for HIV under the GC7, and the Programmes Manager told the Ghana News Agency that stigma and discrimination was sure to rise and hamper the health efforts with the passage of the human conduct law.

‘The law would have a certain impact, but we will do our best to manage it. Health workers take care of everybody irrespective of their sexual conduct,’ he said.

Mr. Ernest Amoabeng Ortsin, Acting Chairman of the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund, said it was ‘quite worried about recent developments in the country.

‘The new law is going to place some impediments in our way as health workers,’ he added, calling for key populations affected to not be denied access to care.

He said the Global Fund had so far invested US$1.2 billion in the country, sustaining some 254,000 people on TB and HIV treatment.

He appealed to the Government to ensure the availability of domestic resources, including counterpart funding to help fight the diseases.

The annual joint TB/HIV review brough
t heads of the Ghana Health Service from across the Regions, and various stakeholders, including the WHO, UNICEF, and CSOs as well as health research institutions.

Mr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye, Director General of the Ghana Health Service, in a speech read on his behalf at the opening, commended the significant strides in the fight against HIV and Aids.

He mentioned ‘remarkable progress’ during the year under review and said efforts should be made to address delays in the disbursement of funds.

Source: Ghana News Agency