NHARCON | The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has launched the Fourth National HIV and AIDS Research Conference (NHARCON) 2018 at a ceremony in Accra.
The conference, slated for May 8 to 11, 2018, would serve as a platform to share ideas in support of the current National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (NSP) 2016 -2020.
The Fourth NHARCON is under the theme: “Ending AIDS – Rethinking Practices for the Maximum Impact.”
The conference formed part of GAC’s mandate to disseminate and share HIV and AIDS Strategic information with the scientific community, academia, policy makers and other stakeholders and partners in the implementation of the national response.
Professor Isabella Quakyi, an Immunologists and Chairperson of NHARCON Committee, said rethinking practices for maximum impact would require a collective and a country-led efforts to scale up HIV prevention and treatment services as part of fast-tracking a comprehensive response to meet global and national targets to end HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
Prof. Quakyi said science showed that, starting treatment as early as possible had a dual benefit of keeping people living with HIV healthy as well as preventing its transmission.
She said Ghana had, therefore, adopted the global standard policy of “Treat All,” which would result in reducing the incidence of AIDS related deaths and new infections.
Prof. Quakyi said it was equally important that; “Ghana increases the effort and provide the necessary national resources both technical and financial, to ensure rapid scale-up of treatment and existing HIV prevention interventions.”
“We must rethink and be ready to change service delivery models that are not working and scale-up best practices to achieve the maximum impact we so much desire.”
Moving forward, Prof. Quakyi said Ghana must eschew complacency, which was the most single evil that could easily reverse the gains made so far in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
“Without more domestic investment and international technical assistance, we cannot push faster the 90-90-90 fast-track targets to achieve the epidemic control by 2020,” she said.
Prof. Quakyi stressed the need to think about innovative ways of generating and mobilising adequate resources to fill the financial gaps while addressing stigma and discrimination against People Living with HIV.
She said the overall objective of NHARCON was to provide a platform for the exchange of local and global research and best practices towards achieving epidemic control in Ghana.
She said the conference would attract speakers, who were global leaders selected from the World Health Organisation and the National Institute of Health of the United States Department of Health and Human Resource.