HUNDREDS of residents at Jema and Nkoranza all in the Brong Ahafo Region turned out in their numbers to take part in the health screening exercise organised by the First Lady’s Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, (PMTCT) of HIV and AIDS Campaign and Health screening.
The campaign which is also supported by Ghana chapter of Organisation of African First Ladies Association (OAFLA) against HIV and AIDS as well as the Ghana AIDS Commission, (GAC), is to strengthen Ghana’s PMTCT of HIV and reproductive health especially people living with HIV and women.
Beneficiaries were taken through HIV and AIDS testing and screened for breast and cervical cancer, syphilis and given reproductive health education.
In a speech read on her behalf by the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Justice Adjei, she said OAFLA would continue to seek and reinforce policies and programmes that would help educate communities on HIV and AIDS, to help reduce the spread of the disease and improve the general wellbeing of vulnerable populations especially children and women.
She expressed worry about the low knowledge women have about breast and cervical cancer, adding that those who had the information were too busy with work and family.
Mrs. Mahama advised them to take the opportunity offered by the screening exercise and make it a habit to visit the clinic regularly to know their health status.
“When victims are diagnosed early, babies can be saved from HIV infection from an HIV pregnant woman or from a breastfeeding mother, that is why the community outreach programmes reaching all the communities is key to the Lordina Foundation,” said.
She said the large number of people who participated in the screening showed their readiness to access health and screening services in order to stay healthy.
Mrs Mahama said about 70 per cent of HIV-positive pregnant women across the country were receiving anti-retroviral medications to prevent their babies from getting infected with HIV and that her target was to ensure that all pregnant HIV women were diagnosed and received treatment so that no baby was born HIV-positive.
Present at the screening exercise were members of the Heart to Heart Ambassadors who have also been active in the campaign.
The Acting Director General of GAC, Mr. Jacob Sackey, was optimistic that the campaign would help inform communities on the relationship between HIV and prevention of mother to child transmission and also encourage males to champion for PMTCT services and the health of their partners.
According to him many people were now willing to avail themselves to test for HIV and AIDS as well as cervical and breast cancers which was not prevailing previously.