Access to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy at the community level is critical to meeting the national and global 95-95-95 HIV/AIDS targets.
Before the implementation of the Care Continuum project in the Ahafo Region of Ghana, there used to be only seven (7) ART sites across the four (4) districts where Hope for Future Generations is working as a local implementing partner on the USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum project. This made it a bit difficult for clients from the hinterlands to access medication and interrupted treatment.
Initiation of clients also became challenging due to the distance they had to travel before getting initiated. This issue resulted in some clients not being initiated early enough.
HFFG therefore took up the task to advocate strongly for more pick-up points and ART Centres to be created to ease the burden of both clients and staff. This advocacy started in 2021 and finally got results in 2022 where eight (8) new ART Centres were created, and staff trained to commence work, fully operational.
This is a milestone regarding client interruption rate, eased transportation burden, and reduced pressure on ART staff, as well as contribution to achieving the second and third 95% under the project. About 60% of clients who used to complain now have their medication close without having to travel far distances to access their medication.
HFFG is grateful to USAID JSI Research & Training Institute, the Ahafo Regional Director of the Ghana Health Services, and the various District Health Management Teams (DHMT) for this milestone and will wish more of these are extended to other regions in the future.
The USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project is funded by USAID and implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, with HFFG as a sub-grant recipient. The project seeks to reduce HIV prevalence among the general population and the key population in the districts towards the 95- 95- 95 agenda on the UNAIDS.
HFFG works in 4 districts in the Ahafo Region. These are: Asunafo North, Asunafo South, Asutifi North and Asutifi South respectively.
In 2022, a total of 4,033 people were reached with HIV services. Out of this number, 2,607 people were tested, and 186 HIV-positive cases were recorded and initiated. In one year, 451 clients that interrupted treatment were brought back to continue their medication.HFFG’s JSI team engaged in a planning meeting at HFFG’s Ahafo Office.