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32% of HIV patients stop treatment as they can’t pay for services

As health facilities demand payment for NHIS services that should otherwise be free



HIV, discontinue treatment, Newscenta, anti-retroviral, GAC, NHIS,

The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has appealed to health facilities to consider the plight of persons living with HIV and reduce out-of-pocket-payment on HIV services.

This is because the practice is compelling many of them to discontinue treatment.

Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, said the intervention had become crucial as more than 32% of persons living with HIV (PLHIV) in 2021 alone discontinued treatment because they could not afford to pay.

“It is very concerning because the policy of the government is that, the full range of  HIV services from testing to treatment and the entire scope of case management is supposed to be free,” he added.

However, the Director General said PLHIVs were made to pay due to the challenge of delays in NHIS fund releases to service providers and other related issues, including laboratory services.


He said that currently, GAC is expecting these facilities to work under the term of the NHIS.

Dr Atuahene General appealed to the Government, especially the Ministry of Finance to ensure that NHIS received its releases on time and in the right amount.

He said situations where PLHIV were discontinuing treatment clearly showed how deepening the situation was in inequalities concerning access to HIV services and access to health services in general.

“There should not be barriers to accessing health care services, especially for people living with HIV,” he stressed.

Dr Atuahene said as a country committed to achieving universal health coverage, the situation undermined the objectives and efforts to end HIV and AIDS by the year 2030 as well as commitments to living no one behind and must be fixed.


He urged the citizens of Ghana to support the funds established for people living with HIV.

An expenditure report detailing how funds received by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and spent over the last three years has shown that the GAC spent $323 million ($323,757,110) between 2019 and 2021.

The report, which is titled the National AIDS Spending Assessment (NASA) shows that on a yearly basis, the GAC spent about $88.6 million ($88,648,568) in 2019, some $107.2 million ($107,280,242) in 2020, and $127,8 million  ($127,828,300) in 2021.

Even though the funding amounts have been increasing steadily over the last three years, it is worth noting that the total amount expended by GAC in 2019 ($88,648,568) was about $4 million less than the 2018 amount of ($92.5 million ($92,573,993).

International funding


The NASA report showed that more than 40% of the GAC’s funds came from donor sources.

In 2019, about 42% of the GAC’s funding, representing around $37.3 million ($37,323,398.6) came from foreign sources.

In 2020, the foreign component of the GAC’s expenditure was about 40%, which amounts to about   $42.9 million ($42,912,096.8).

For 2021, donor partners provided about 41% of the GAC’s funds. This amounts to around $52.4 million ($52,409,603).

Public sector funding


Public sector funding as a proportion of the monies generated for the activities of the GAC for the 2019-2021 period declined sharply from the 2018 high of 51%, to 33% in 2019, 34% in 2020, and 34% in 2021.

This means that in 2019, about $29.2 million ($29,254,027.4) of the GAC’s funds came from the public sector.

In 2020, public sector funding for GAC’s expenses accounted was about $36 million ($36,475,282.3).

In 2021, it increased to a little over $43.4 million ($43, 461, 622,) of the GAC’s funding, representing about 34% of total expenses.

Private funds


Private funds, which are mainly out-of-pocket payments by individuals and some monies, generated by private organisations, increased sharply from 16% in 2018, to 25% in 2019, 26% in 2020 and 25% in 2021.

In monetary terms, this represents an increase in out-of-pocket payment of about $22.1 million ($22,162,142) in 2019.

The following year, 2020, this figure amounted to around $26.8 million ($26,820,060.5).

Meanwhile in 2021, the amounts of out-of-pocket payments made by people living with HIV and their relatives amounted to about $31.9 million ($31,957,075).

Some of the biggest donors towards HIV/AID care and prevention in Ghana include the government of the United States which spent $31 million ($31,048,624) in the three-year period, the Global Fund, which gave about $100 million  in the period, as well as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which gave out about( $65 million  ($65,843) in three years.


Spending areas

The NASA Report showed that the greater chunk of the monies generated went towards HIV care and treatment, with spending in this area ranging from 58% to 65% over the period

It was followed by ‘programme enablers and health system strengthening’ which took up just over a quarter of the expenses.

Third on the expenses list was HIV/AIDS prevention which received between 7.5% and 9.3% of total expenditure.







Measles, Polio and other childhood vaccines dispatched to regions



Childhood vaccines, Newscenta, Polio, Measles, Ministry of Health, Regions,

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have received the first consignment of Measles vaccines, Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccines and Oral Polio Vaccines.

The Ministry of Information in a statement said distribution to various regions and facilities was underway.

It noted that more vaccines are expected in Ghana in the coming weeks from multiple sources.

“More vaccines expected in Ghana in the coming weeks from multiple sources,” the Information Ministry added.

It shared pictures of the GHS receiving the vaccines at the airport noting that they have already begun distributing them to various regions and facilities.


The ministry also shared photos of regional cold vans picking their consignments of the Measles, BCG and Oral Polio vaccines received and its accompanying logistics at the National Cold Room in Accra.

Ghana ran out of essential BCG and OPV vaccines as a result of the Ministry of Health’s failure to secure procurement of these vaccines since the year began.

The BCG vaccine is primarily needed to prevent the occurrence of tuberculosis in babies, while the OPV is to prevent polio infections

Other essential vaccines to prevent diseases such as measles, whooping cough, etc. are also in short supply.

Answering to parliament on the shortages, Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu said that more than $6 million has been paid to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to deliver baby vaccines.


According to him, the government expects the shortage to end in the next three weeks when all the vaccines are delivered.

Whilst urging the Legislators to approve funds needed for vaccines, he assured that shortages will not reoccur

“The assurance I will give and I can give for the first time in the Chamber is that this will not happen again and I will advise that you help me in my advocacy to get adequate funding for vaccines even the health insurance budget,” he appealed.

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No measles deaths in 20yrs, vaccines arriving soon  



Vaccines, Newscenta, measles, BCG, polio, immunisation,

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has assured parents of children who are yet to receive their scheduled vaccines due to the vaccine shortage currently being experienced in the country that the country will take delivery of these vaccines in the next few weeks.

He gave this assurance at an emergency press briefing organised to address the raging issue which has seen many worried parents moving from facility to facility in a desperate search for the crucial vaccines.

The Minister in his address stated that the nation is currently facing a shortage of some vaccines.

He said, “it is true we have had some vaccine shortages in the country since the last quarter of 2022. The vaccines in short supply are BCG, Measles-Rubella (MR), and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). This shortage is nationwide.”

Agyemang-Manu however assured that  “the Ministry of Health has been making efforts to ensure we secure adequate stocks of vaccines despite this global challenge.”


He went further to state that, “we have made all necessary efforts to ensure that despite these challenges we secure adequate stocks within the next few weeks.”

He disclosed that the country has not recorded deaths caused by measles outbreak in parts of the country.

The Health Minister indicated that there had been no recorded measles-related deaths in the country in the last 20 years, even though there have been sporadic outbreaks.

He further indicated that besides the shortage of vaccines, there had been a global decline in vaccinations with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019.

He said, “the recent shortage in vaccines for measles, as regrettable as it is, is symptomatic of the steady global decline in measles vaccination since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.”


Agyemang-Manu however assures the citizenry that the nation’s vaccination coverage remains robust, with immunization performance coverage being among the best in the world.

According to him, “in 2021 we recorded 95% [vaccine] coverage.”

In recent months there has been a desperate scramble among worried parents of toddlers over the apparent shortage of vaccines for the six childhood killer diseases in the nation’s pharmacies and hospitals.

This coupled with an outbreak of the measles-rubella virus has left parents worrying about the safety of their children.


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Ghana: Zipline delivers 14.8m lifesaving medical products



Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

Zipline, the world’s first and only national-scale drone delivery service has delivered some 14.8 million (14,809,463) units of lifesaving medical, vaccines and blood products to health facilities in Ghana as at the end of 2022

309,000 delivery flights

These items were delivered through 309,000 separate delivery flights.

4.4m units delivered

The total units delivered amounted to 4.4 million.


8.3m doses of childhood vaccines

Childhood vaccines top the list with the delivery of 8.3 million doses.

2.05m doses of COVID-19 vaccines

It is followed by COVID-19 vaccines which recorded 2.05 million doses.

48,588 doses of malaria vaccines


The company delivered 48,588 doses of malaria vaccines during the period

10,875 pints of blood

Some 10,875 blood units were also delivered during the period.

Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

6 Zipline distribution centers

The six  Zipline distribution centers delivers lifesaving medical, vaccines and blood products to over 2,500 health facilities.


Zipline introduced in April 2019

Ghana integrated Zipline’s medical drone delivery service into its health supply chain in April 2019 with an initial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UPS Foundation and other partners.

Instant access to health commodities

Zipline enables instant access to hundreds of health commodities for thousands of health facilities across the country.

Autonomous drones


This marked the first time in history that autonomous drones have been used to make regular long-range deliveries into densely populated urban areas.

Zipline reaches half the population

Zipline’s current network in Ghana can reach up to half the population.

Life-saving care

All too often, people requiring life-saving care do not get the medicine they need when they need it.


Reduce medical waste

To increase access and reduce medical waste, key stock of blood products, vaccines, and life-saving medications are stored at Zipline’s base for just-in-time delivery.

Health workers place orders

Health workers place orders by text message or call and promptly receive their deliveries in 30 minutes on average.

Drones deliver the orders


The drones take off from and land at Zipline’s base, requiring no additional infrastructure or manpower at the clinics they serve.

Each drone can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo

The drones fly autonomously and can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo, cruising at 110km an hour, and have a round trip range of 160km—even in high-speed winds and rain.

How Zipline works

Each week, a single Zipline distribution centre – a combination of medical fulfilment warehouse and drone airport – is capable of the on-demand delivery of more than two tonnes of temperature-controlled medicine to any point across an almost 8,000 square mile service area.


Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

30 to 45 minutes deliveries

Each aircraft can fly 100 miles round trip, in strong winds and rain, day or night, to make on-demand deliveries in 30 to 45 minutes on average.

Zipline’s drones have flown more than five million autonomous miles to deliver more than 1.5 million doses of vaccines, units of blood, and critical and life-saving medications to more than a thousand health facilities serving more than 25 million people across three countries.

Zipline in United States

In the United States, Zipline has partnered with a leading healthcare system, Novant Health, on the country’s first drone logistics operation by a hospital system for pandemic response.


To date, Novant Health has utilised Zipline to make contactless drone distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline medical teams around Charlotte, North Carolina.

Zipline operating in Kaduna and Cross River States in Nigeria

Zipline recently commenced medical delivery services in Kaduna and Cross River States in Nigeria as its footprint grows across Africa.

Set to begin commercial operations in Côte D’Ivoire and Kenya

The company is set to begin commercial operations in Côte D’Ivoire and Kenya this week bringing to five countries in Africa to have adopted the technology.






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