Source: Graphic
The First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama, has called on all stakeholders in the health sector to intensify their efforts and work together to address challenges associated with the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and reproductive health needs of girls and mothers.

She said women were the backbone of the country's economy and played a key role in the country's development. "All efforts must, therefore, be made to ensure their health and well-being," she added.

The first lady made the call in a speech read on her behalf by the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Justice Adjei, at a durbar of chiefs and people of Jema, Nkoranza and its surrounding communities in the Brong Ahafo Region.

As part of the durbar, a free health screening exercise was also organised for the people.

Health screening

The health screening exercise was organised by the Ghana chapter of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) in collaboration with Ghana AIDS Commission and UT Foundation.

Mrs Mahama said, "Regular exercise can lead to good health so I encourage you to exercise regularly and avoid oily and fatty foods."
Cancer vaccine

The first lady said she was happy that a preventive cervical cancer vaccine had been introduced in some of the regions and expressed the hope that the service would be sustained and expanded to all other districts for more girls to benefit from the vaccine.

Mrs Mahama indicated that the Global Community had set a new target aimed at ensuring that 90 per cent of people living with HIV got to know their statuses.

She explained that 90 per cent of those who knew their statuses would be put on treatment and 90 per cent of those on treatment would have their viral load suppressed.
Health status

She reiterated her commitment to work with all to improve the health status of the citizenry as well as to ensure that Ghana attained the global new target of ensuring that 90 per cent of people living with HIV got to know their statuses.

She mentioned some of the challenges that impeded the progress of women in the society as traditions that prevented women from taking personal decisions on their health, culture of fear and discrimination.

These challenges, the first lady said, when addressed would go a long way to supplement government's efforts to end HIV/AIDS and other diseases in the country.
2000 women screened

The Acting Director of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Mr Jacob Sackey, indicated that this year alone more than 2000 women had been screened for cervical cancers in Greater Accra and Ashanti Mampong.

He added that more than 2500 individuals had also been tested and counselled for HIV during the health screening exercises.

He explained that the Lordina Foundation, together with the Ghana AIDS Commission and UT Foundation, brings to the doorsteps of people reproductive health service to demonstrate and sensitise communities to the availability of these services and encourage them to visit health facilities for regular checks.

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