Empowering communities to lead: A pathway to end AIDS by 2030
The global community once again unites in reflection and action against ending HIV/AIDS by 2030. This year, the theme for World AIDS Day, “Let Communities Lead” resonates profoundly, with the vibrant energy and innovation brought forth by young leaders, in shaping the HIV response worldwide.
As Ridge hospital joins the rest of the world to mark this day, we focus on the invaluable contribution of Communities to the AIDS response. Communities in this context refer to people living with HIV and all key and vulnerable populations affected by the HIV epidemic, including young people.
Dr. Funmlayo B Annan, ( Paediatrican of ridge hospital) shares in the theme of this year’s World AIDS Day commemoration that communities are the lifeblood of an effective AIDS response and as such must be empowered to lead the HIV response in Ghana.
“This position is rooted in our experiences with community members engaged throughout the numerous HIV interventions we have implemented for the past twenty-one years across Ghana”.
In recent years, young leaders have been at the forefront of pioneering initiatives that challenge the status quo. From advocating for comprehensive sex education, addressing human rights violations, and promoting HIV testing to leveraging digital platforms for awareness campaigns.
She said, that under the Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) intervention of the Global Fund NFM III Project, HFFG as a Sub Recipient under CHAG is empowering HIV community members to lead the delivery of services such as HIV education, adherence counseling, intensify psychosocial counseling and support, eMTCT, removing barriers and misconceptions about HIV that impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of clients.
She added that, reminds stakeholders in the HIV response that the time has come for communities to lead in the planning, development, and implementation of HIV interventions in Ghana.
PNO Salome Tettey Frimpong ( ART) said Empowering young people in the HIV response is a strategic imperative. By investing in capacity-building programs and providing resources, we equip these communities with the tools needed to drive impactful and enduring transformations in the HIV response.
She therefore called on the Government of Ghana and implementors of the HIV response to prioritize and increase domestic resources for health, especially in the face of continuously dwindling donor funding, and invest in empowering and positioning community members.
“Together, let’s amplify the voices of young leaders, recognize their invaluable contributions, and walk hand in hand toward a future free from the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The time is now; the power lies within our communities—let’s pave the way”.
Story by Fada Amakye from Daily Sun