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932 die of HIV/AIDS in first 6 months of 2022



HIV/AIDS, Newscenta, Health, AIDS Commission, Ministry of Health,
Group photo after the launch of the conference. Photo: Newscenta

Some 932 persons living with HIV/AIDS have died in the first six month of this year. They were part of the 259,408 on treatment in the country in the first half of the year.

What is even more worryingly is over 101,500 living with the virus have yet to be identified.

Programmes Manager at the National AIDS Control Programme, Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo, announced this at the launch of the National HIV/AIDS Research Conference (NHARCON) 2023 at a ceremony in Accra.

He indicated that Bono continues to lead in prevalence at above 4% for both routine and Health Support Services (HSS) data. It is followed by the Ahafo Region.

The conference, which is the fifth edition, is slated for April 25 to 28, 2023, will serve as a platform to share ideas in support of the implementation of the current National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2021-2025.


The Fifth NHARCON is under the theme ‘Achieving HIV Epidemic Control Amidst Emerging Health Threats’.

The conference forms part of Ghana AIDS Commission’s (GAC) mandate to disseminate and share HIV and AIDS strategic information with its stakeholders and partners in the implementation of the National Response.

Director General of GAC, Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, indicated that Ghana recorded a reduction in new infections and cases of AIDS-related deaths by 26% and 38% respectively, between 2017 and 2021.

This, according to him was as a result of the resources, expertise and commitment invested towards the fight against the disease over the years.

The Director General further asserted that despite the reduction recorded, GAC faces mounting challenges as over 100,000 individuals in the country live with HIV without knowing their status.


This, he said, has the potential of preventing the GAC’s aim of achieving its goal of 95% status knowledge, 95% in the administration of anti-retrovirus drugs and 95% in viral suppression.

Dr Atuahene noted that misconceptions about the virus account for the low knowledge of status among individuals in the country and therefore encouraged individuals to go for testing as it is free.

He said the NHARCON 2023, would consider the impact of the HIV and other public health hazards and how to lessen the effects of the diseases.

He said the resources, expertise and commitment invested in the national HIV response had resulted in low prevalence and increased treatment uptake, which had kept persons with HIV alive, strong, and healthy.

He appealed for the provision of high-impact services to address infectious diseases such as HIV, TB, COVID-19, Viral Hepatitis, STIs and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.


The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie who launched the conference lauded the GAC and other health professionals for their fight against the disease.

He said that the Fifth (NHARCON) 2023 will focus on an integration agenda for HIV, Tuberculosis (TB), COVID-19, and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) services to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive health response for the country.

He stated that the outbreak of COVID-19 had overshadowed the raging effects of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

The Minister added that COVID-19 has taught the government an important lesson to intensify its integration efforts and mitigate the effects of setbacks as they renew their determination.

“Ghana can rebuild its economy and its health programmes by drawing on lessons learned from the HIV response over the last four decades to address emerging infectious and non-communicable diseases” he advised.


Dr. Afriyie said that he looks forward to NHARCON focusing on addressing the social and structural drivers of HIV/AIDS and shining a spotlight on gender inequality and social protection for key populations and vulnerable people.

He noted that the Fifth NHARCON will have a deep and long-lasting impact on the country’s HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, COVID-19, and STI responses.

He called on all stakeholders to rally behind and participate in the NHARCON and to adopt the integration agenda to propel the African continent towards ending AIDS by the year 2030.

Professor William Ampofo, the Conference Chair, said to achieve the goal of making Ghana an AIDS-free country, there was the need for evidence to inform programming to impact the National HIV and AIDS response positively.

He said providing opportunities for researchers to share latest scientific advances, learn from each other’s expertise, and reviewing strategies for advancing the fast track 95-95-95 strategy would contribute to addressing HIV and its related diseases to ultimately end AIDS by 2030.


The aim of the 95-95-95 strategy is to diagnose 95 per cent of all HIV-positive individuals, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 95 per cent of those diagnosed and achieve viral suppression for 95 per cent of those treated by 2025.

“Discussing and identifying future programme strategies and research priorities in light of the evidence and best practices also addresses HIV and its related diseases,” he said.

Mr Ampofo explained that the conference had been divided into scientific and non-scientific sessions.

The scientific session includes satellite symposia and abstract-driven meetings while the non-scientific ones involve the commercial and non-commercial exhibitions, and workshops for developing new skills.

He urged the Ghana AIDS Commission not to lose guard in achieving its goals, saying, “even under the threat of public health emergencies, we must not relent in our goal for an AIDS-free Ghana.”



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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