The West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF) in collaboration with the Accra Diamond Lions Club organized HIV/AIDS Candle Night at Haatso, in the Ga-East Municipal Assembly on 30th November, 2016 to commemorate the 2016 World AIDS Day celebration.
HIV/AIDS Candle Night plays a significant role in relation to World AIDS Day celebration as a time of remembering those who have died from HIV/AIDS. More so, the evening served as a reminder that HIV can have a huge impact on one’s life; hence if people are living with HIV and are unaware, they are at a huge risk of passing the disease to sexual partners and to children HIV positive mothers’ birth, if necessary steps are not taken to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
The ceremony started at 7pm with an opening prayer and welcome address from Gifty Anyeley Marley, the Programmes Manager-WAAF. The president of NAP+, Mr Emmanuel Beluzebr explained to the community members gathered about the significance of the HIV/AIDS candle night and was followed by messages from CSO’s present.
The dignitaries present such as the Assembly Man of Haatso, President of GHANET-Mr Edem Hini, President of NAP+, President of Accra Diamond Lions Club and the CEO of WAAF-Dr Naa Ashiley Vanderpuye joined together on stage to light the candle and observed a minute of silence for all those who died as a result of being infected with HIV.
WAAF team members also used the opportunity to distribute over 300 condoms and educated them on how to effectively wear the condom (male and female).
World AIDS Day which falls on December 1 every year, is a day set aside globally to remember those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, was also a time for stock taking by nations or people affected by the epidemic on how well the level of response has made an impact, and the way forward.
Source: WAAF Communications Department
The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) on November 1, 2016 launched the 2016 World AIDS Day on the theme: “90-90-90: Providing comprehensive integrated services for all towards free an HIV-Free generation” at Ashaley Botwe Old Town Park in Accra.
The aim is to ensure that efforts are strengthened in the treatment of all persons who are infected with HIV, as well as addressing the needs of all others to prevent new infections.
The World AIDS Day which falls on December 1 every year, is a day set aside globally to remember those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, was also a time for stock taking by nations or people affected by the epidemic on how well the level of response has made an impact, and the way forward.
Dr Angela El-Adas, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, called for a renewed commitment by all stakeholders to achieve results through the agreed Fast Track strategies of testing, treatment and reducing the viral load of persons living with HIV to prevent AIDS related deaths.
As part of the event the to create more awareness on HIV/AIDS issues and get more people tested, West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF) conducted free HIV testing and counselling at the durbar.
WAAF medical team tested about 65 people and did not record any reactive case. 300 condoms were shared to the community members who visited WAAF boot as part of the HIV preventive measures and 150 educational materials were also distributed.
The West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF) and the International Health Care Center (IHCC), two organizations in Ghana continue to be determined in their efforts to fight TB. As a result they have intensified Active TB Case Finding efforts.
Although a health facility, you will find a team of medical personnel twice a week getting ready for their TB outreach as they call it. Equipped with IEC materials, the official NTP screening tool and sputum containers, the team sets out twice a week targeting densely populated areas such as market places. Especially on
Market Days when the crowds are drawn into the markets such as vendors and individuals from neighboring communities visiting to purchase goods, the WAAF and IHCC team are ready in their mobile Clinic and tools to talk about and screen for TB.
What makes this effort so interesting is that each and everyone at the clinic will participate at some point - nurses, counselors, doctor, physician assistant, laboratory personnel, pharmacy personnel, administrator, finance department staff have all been and will continue to go out there in search of TB.
Using the NTP screening tool, presumptive cases are either referred for further testing or sputum samples are taken right there on the spot and brought back to the IHCC facility to be analysed by sputum microscopy. Through collaborative efforts with a public facility with a gene xpert machine, negative sputum samples but for which the assumption was very high are sent for analysis using Gene xpert.
At the end of the project WAAF screened a total of 2153 community members (WR 964 and GAR 1189), 19 of the people screened were screened as a contact screening to one client diagnosed from a high risk living situation in a market in Accra.175 people were classified as eligible cases (WR 81, 94 GAR) where 125 could produce sputum for AFB microscopy testing (WR 72, GAR 53).
With the testing outcome we had 3 sputum smear positive clients (all in GAR, 2 in Ga East district, 1 in AMA), while 3 eligible cases were diagnosed to be TB cases based on suggestive x-ray screening which were done as a follow up when sputum results of these individuals turned out negative for AFB microscopy test (all in WR, STMA).
For all communities, the assembly /unit committee members and the TB Coordinators were very supportive of the screening activities conducted.
Continuous follow up visits and calls to the two diagnosed clients who were not willing to go on treatment has not yielded any positive outcome as at the close of the project period. WAAF with partners in the district facilities and TB coordinators will continue putting in effort in getting these clients into care.