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Headline783 people in Tema contracted HIV in 2023 - Health Directorate

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783 people in Tema contracted HIV in 2023 – Health Directorate

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In 2023, the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate (TMHD) documented 783 new cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), marking an increase from the 603 cases recorded in 2022.

Ms. Joana Anorkor Lartey, the Tuberculosis and HIV Coordinator of the Directorate, shared this information during an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA). She noted that in 2023, there were 297 male and 486 female cases, compared to 263 male and 340 female cases in 2022.

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Of the 2023 HIV cases, 757 individuals were successfully linked to care within the same year. Ms. Lartey attributed the rise in HIV cases to the numerous free testing programs conducted by her team throughout the communities.

These initiatives proved instrumental in identifying cases that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

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She urged the public to seize the opportunity of such screenings to ascertain their HIV status, adding that individuals could also request free self-test kits from various facilities for personal testing.

Emphasizing that knowing one’s HIV status was not a death sentence but rather an avenue for early treatment, Ms. Lartey stressed the importance of prompt intervention for those testing positive.

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Regarding Tuberculosis (TB), Ms. Lartey disclosed that the metropolis recorded 154 cases in 2023, including 47 pediatric TB cases. Out of these, 129 were presumptive TB cases identified among Out-Patient Department (OPD) attendees, of which 47 were confirmed positive.

Despite achieving many of its objectives for the year, such as community awareness campaigns and intensified case finding through screenings and home visits, the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate faced challenges. These included funding shortages for monitoring and supervision, staff motivation issues, and delayed report submissions.

Ms. Lartey expressed gratitude to stakeholders such as the Ghana News Agency, Obonu FM, and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority for their support in disseminating the TB/HIV message and conducting screenings.

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