Re-engage Local NGOs To Help Combat HIV and AIDS – Raphael Godlove Ahenu
CEO of the Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF) has stressed the need for Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) to involve local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including the media in responding to HIV and AIDS in Ghana.
Raphael Godlove Ahenu said Community Base Organizations (CBOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) are in direct contact and interaction with the people in their various communities, therefore, are in the best positions to help the Aids Commission respond to the disease by engaging in awareness creation”.
Speaking to Joy News in Sunyani he said the Commission’s effort alone cannot combat the dreaded HIV and AIDS and called for the engagement of other local stakeholders.
He said between 2006 and 2008, the local NGOs were involved in the response to AIDS but the initiative was halted in 2009 by the commission without any explanation.
However, he emphasised that the GAC’s five year strategic plan to reduce Mother to Child Transmission of AIDS, dubbed “agenda 90-90-90” cannot be achieved without the participation of NGOs.
“Government should stop giving huge funds to the so-called big organizations for the implementation of HIV and AIDS response in Ghana,” Mr Ahenu noted.
The CEO of GLOMEF observed that the local NGOs were working very hard to reach the people in the remotest areas across the country, educating them about the dangers of HIV and AIDS.
He also expressed worry about the poor monitoring and accountability on the part of NGOs suggesting that NGOs involved in AIDS response program “should be strengthened in terms of capacity in project and financial management in order to enhance their monitoring and accountability mechanisms”.
Mr. Ahenu further called on the government to release the needed funds to the GAC to help them respond to the fight against HIV and AIDS in the country.
He reminded government to speed up the establishment of the HIV Fund in order to mobilize the needed resources to support the implantation of the new national HIV and AIDS strategic plan.
He also cautioned officials at the GAC and other stakeholders to ensure transparency and responsiveness in the management and utilisation of the funds allocated to them.