The University of Ghana – Brown University Academic Partnership to Address HIV/AIDS, under the sponsorship of USAID and Higher Education for Development (HED), hosted a successful day and a half “Summit” to discuss successes and challenges in eliminating Pediatric HIV in 2015 in Ghana. The event was co-sponsored by the Ghana National AIDS/STD Control Program (NACP), the Ghana AIDS Commission, Ghana Health Service, and the Ministry of Health.
Held on April 25th and 26th, 2012 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra, Ghana, the Summit brought together stakeholders such as academicians, researchers, practitioners, activists, non-governmental and community based organizations, policy makers, developmental partners, persons living with HIV, and politicians to discuss the way forward in achieving elimination of MTCT.
The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Mr. John Dramani Mahama gave the Summit’s keynote address. During his speech, the Vice President noted that the Government of Ghana has pledged to support HIV programs in Ghana. This was received with applause as a significant milestone in the fight against HIV and a solid demonstration of country ownership.
Guest speakers included Dr. Lynne Mofenson (Chief of Pediatric, Adolescent, and Maternal AIDS Branch, NIH) and Ms. Sostena Romano (Director of eMTCT, Clinton Foundation). The Ghana-Brown Partnerships leaders also made statements, including: Prof. Aaron Lawson, Prof. Andrew Adjei, and Prof. Margaret Lartey from the Univ. of Ghana; Dr. Timothy Flanigan, Dr. Awewura Kwara and Dr. Susan Cu-Uvin from Brown University; and Dr. Elijah Paintsil from Yale University.
The four key lessons from the Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Summit are: (1) the health of the woman should be paramount and is key for a healthy child and family; (2) the need for country ownership of HIV eradication efforts and programs; (3) leveraging synergies, linkages and integration of care; and (4) HIV elimination should be a shared responsibility: the need for Public-Private Partnership to address the HIV epidemic.
As a result of the Summit, the Ghana-Brown Partnership will develop a roadmap document to outline how the goal of elimination of MTCT of HIV by 2015 will be achieved. The participants at the Summit affirmed their belief and support of the goal by adopting the following Summit slogan: “Elimination of MTCT of HIV in Ghana by 2015 – Yes we can!”