The Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, has commended Ghana's leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country.
Making the commendation during an interaction with Ghana's Vice President, Mr. Paa Kwesi Amissah- Arthur on the sidelines of the High Level Meeting on ending HIV/AIDS at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Mr. Sidibe said "Ghana has always been a model in Africa and I am not surprised at all with your commitment to the fight against HIV and your present achievements".
The UNAIDS boss was particularly thankful to President John Mahama for sending such a powerful delegation from Ghana, led by the Vice President and including the First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama to show the seriousness the government attached to the fight against the HIV/AIDs epidemic.
The commendable efforts Ghana has put in including being among the countries that are eliminating mother to child transmission is huge, Mr. Sidibe added.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur assured that Ghana will not be complacent with her modest achievements by doing more to end HIV/AIDS.
He noted that very often a certain amount of complacency set in sometimes. So we don't have to over play the successes but continue to do more. The discussions centred on how current efforts and programmes to end HIV/AIDS will achieve the desired goals as stated in the Sustainable Development goals.
World leaders have under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development made a commitment to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic within 15 years., pointing out that action now could avert an estimated 17.6 million new infections and 11 million premature deaths between 2016 1nd 2030.
To actualize this dream, he urged the international community to reinforce and expand the unique, multi-sector, multi-actor approach of UNAIDS, as an integral element of the agenda.
He noted that progress and investments in the AIDS response had changed the face of global health, as they have strengthened health systems, social protection and community resilience.
The Vice President said that "Our government has demonstrated increasing ownership of the HIV response through advocacy, policy development and financial support that increased over 10-fold between 2011 and 2015.These, along with leadership commitments at various levels and across multiple actors, including civil society, the private sector and Development Partners have contributed to the progress".
Civil Society and Community-based organizations have been remarkable in extending the reach and intensity of the national response to communities and vulnerable groups; he noted adding that the Global Fund, PEPFAR and UN System have also remained committed.
Present at the interaction were Health Minister Alex Segbefia, Mr. James Agyenim Boateng, Vice Presidential staffer, Dr. Angela El-Adas, Ghana Aids Commission, Mr.Girmay Haile, UNAIDS Ghana and Ambassador Martha Pobee, the Permanent Representative to the UN.
Source: Ghana's Mission to UN
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