The Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of the Global Fund has earmarked $194 million to fight tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS and malaria in Ghana between the years 2018 and 2020.
The Coordinating Director of CCM, Mr Collins Agyarko-Nti, said about $12 million out of the funds would be used to build a resilient and sustainable health delivery system in the country.
National advocacy session
Mr Agyarko-Nti made the disclosure at a national advocacy session organised by the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) to discuss issues concerning the provision of medical care for prison inmates, their officers and relevant stakeholders.
The advocacy meeting was funded by the Global Fund under its new funding model implemented in 2015.
The meeting was also to lay out plans to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS and TB infections in key areas, including the prisons.
Giving reasons for the allocation, Mr Agyarko-Nti said the non-utilisation of the funds by principal recipients had resulted in the reduction of funds from $260 million granted for the 2015-2017 programme period.
He, therefore, urged the PPAG and other principal recipients, such as the Ghana AIDS Commission and the Ghana Health Service, to maximise utilisation of their funds to enable the continuous flow of funds from the Global Fund.
“There must be a meaningful and attainable plan drawn up to purposefully spend funds,” he stressed.
Status of inmates
The Programme Manager of the Global Fund, an international development support organisation, Mrs Ann-Marie Affainie-Godwyll, stated that 224 inmates from the 43 prisons in the country tested positive for HIV last year after the organisation had carried out HIV testing and TB screening.
Made up of 192 males and 32 females, the patients were referred to hospitals for evaluation and medication.
She said 14,285 inmates had undergone HIV testing and were aware of their status, while 13,390 were educated on HIV prevention.
Mrs Affainie-Godwyll, however, said the organisation would continue to partner with PPAG and other stakeholders to improve the conditions in the country’s prisons.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Acting Director-General of Prisons, Mr Patrick Darko Missah, commended PPAG for their efforts to improve the quality of life of inmates in prisons.
He said most inmates were ignorant about how HIV and TB were transmitted and consequently indulged in risky lifestyles.
Mr Missah, however, said the intervention of PPAG had reduced HIV and TB infections by 22 per cent in the prisons, adding that risky lifestyles such as the sharing of unsterilised sharp instruments among inmates had also reduced.