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Tema Metro records 783 new HIV infections in 2023

Accra: The Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate (TMHD) recorded 783 new Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections in 2023, an increase over the 603 recorded in 2022.

Ms Joana Anorkor Lartey, the Tuberculosis and HIV Coordinator of the Directorate, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the 2023 figure comprised 297 males and 486 females, while the 2022 consisted of 263 males and 340 females.

She said 757 cases out of the 2023 figure (new HIV infections) were linked to care within the period.

She explained that the increase in HIV positive cases could be attributed to the several free testing programmes her outfit held in the communities during the year.

Such programmes helped in identifying cases that could have been missed, she said, and advised the public to take advantage of such screenings to know their status.

People could also request a free self-test kit from the various facilities to conduct a test on themselves.

Ms Lartey said knowing one’s status was not a death sentence bu
t rather an opportunity to be put on treatment early for those found to be positive.

Touching on Tuberculosis (TB) she disclosed that 154 cases were registered in the metropolis between January and December 2023, with 47 of them being paediatric TB cases.

Out of the 154 cases, 129 were presumed TB from Out-Patients Department (OPD) attendants that were tested and turned out positive.

She said the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate encountered some challenges even though the Department was able to achieve most of its objectives for the year, such as creating awareness in the communities about TB and HIV and intensifying case finding through monthly screening and weekly home visits.

The challenges included a lack of funding for monitoring and supervision, the absence of zeal in some staff towards work, and the late entry of reports.

She commended the Ghana News Agency, Obonu FM, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and other stakeholders for supporting her unit to reach the public with the TB/HIV messa
ge and screening.

Source: Ghana News Agency