Providing More Than 30,000 People Living with HIV with Access to Care and Treatment in Ghana
June 27th, 2023 | news
June 27th, 2023 | news
Henry Ajewi-Narh Nagai, USAID Care Continuum Chief of Party providing remarks at the project’s Lessons Learned event.
HIV case finding and testing. Linking to treatment. Applying person-centered care. All have been central approaches of the USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum project’s HIV work in Ghana since 2016.
The project celebrated its seven-year partnership with the Ghana AIDS Commission, Ghana Health Services, the National AIDS Program, civil society organizations, and USAID at an event on June 22 to highlight its work in Ahafo, Western, and North Western Regions.
In the first three years of implementation, the Care Continuum reached more than 30,000 people with HIV services. In the following four years, it expanded support to 29 districts and more than 100 health facilities, and increased the number of people receiving care.
“Over the past seven years, we have worked with our collaborators to improve health outcomes in the three regions and the country at large. I thank my team, and all our stakeholders for their support, respect, and collaboration for the successes we have achieved,” said Henry Ajewi-Narh Nagai, the project chief of party.
Working with 10 civil society organizations, the project applied person-centered care approaches to counseling, education, and behavior change. The project additionally trained and mentored more than 1,000 health care workers, including nurse assistants and HIV case managers, to address stigma and discrimination and best approaches for HIV testing and treatment. To better reach clients and bring them back to care, the Care Continuum also trained Models of Hope, healthy people living with HIV who are testaments of how well antiretroviral therapy works and who are able to reach peers who have never been in or have interrupted HIV treatment.
“I’ve been living with HIV since 1993 and been a Model of Hope for 15 years now,” says Percy Korankye, chairperson of the Network of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS, Ahafo Region. “We were facing serious stigma in the Ahafo Region. People had to go far away to access medication. When the project came; we engaged people in education and bringing them together to understand that HIV is not the end of life.”
The project’s commitment to bringing clients back to care, preventing mother-to-child transmission, reducing stigma and discrimination, and ensuring people living with HIV are treated with care and respect has helped turn the tide on HIV in Ghana: it is no longer a death sentence, but a disease that can be managed through the right treatment course.