ACCRA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Ghanaian government allayed the fears of many here on Thursday that it would provide funding for the treatment of persons living with HIV/AIDS in the country.
Vice President John Dramani Mahama affirmed this when he addressed a ceremony to mark this year's World AIDS Day at Obuasi, near Kumasi, 270 km north of the capital Accra.
Mahama said should the Global Fund pull out of supporting the country, the government would partner with development partners to raise the 5.8 million U. S. dollars needed yearly for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.
"Government will work together with the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and donor partners to ensure that people living with HIV/ AIDS have access to antiretroviral drugs.
"The Presidency is with you, and whatever we will do to win the fight against HIV/AIDS shall be done," Mahama said.
Ghana's HIV/AIDS infection rate, according to official figures, has dropped from 3 percent to the current 1.5 percent, albeit with pockets of higher rates of infection among some populations in the country.
Mahama called for more innovativeness in mobilizing resources to avoid the danger of retrogression.
Director-General of the GAC Angela El-Adas announced that the Ministry of Health had pledged 2.5 million Ghana cedis (1.66 million dollars) out of the 5.8 million dollars needed for next year.
Meanwhile, in the capital, the Ghana Network of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (NAP+ GHANA) joined persons living with HIV (PLHIV) globally on Thursday to commemorate this year's World AIDS Day.
"We stand united with our fellow PLHIV and the global HIV and AIDS community by fully supporting the vision of 'Getting to Zero', " Charity Owusu Danso, vice president of NAP+ Ghana, said in a message here.
Established in 2005, NAP+GHANA is a network of member associations of persons living with HIV/AIDS in Ghana to represent the views, hopes and aspirations of PLHIV across the country.
"We are extremely worried. Everyday, we receive reports from PLHIV across the country that anti-retroviral drugs are out of stock or that hospitals or clinics won't give HIV treatment to new patients because there aren't even enough drugs for existing patients, " the statement said.
Special Report: World AIDS Day 2011