The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has launched a short code on the MTN and Vodafone networks to allow individuals and groups to donate to the HIV Fund.
The short code *9898# would allow the public to make cash contributions to the fund to aid in the country's HIV response.
Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff, who launched the short code at the 2023 World AIDS Day National Durbar, also stated that the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) had guided the country in concluding the Global Fund Grant Cycle seven applications for 2024- 2026.
"I am also aware of the strenuous efforts the GAC is making at mobilising additional resources to finance the national response.
"I therefore invite corporate Ghana, Ghanaians both at home and abroad, to donate their widow's mite to the fund in whichever way possible," she said.
World AIDS Dayobserved annually on December 1, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died because of the disease.
The 2023 celebration is on the theme; "Let Communities Lead."
Mrs. Osei-Opare stated that one of the key causes of the disproportionate HIV disease burden among women and girls was gender inequality.
Two out of three Ghanaians living with HIV are women, while four out five new infections, in young people aged 15 to 24 years, are adolescents, girls and women.
The Chief of Staff expressed grave concern that adolescents and young people account for 28% of total new HIV infections in the country.
To end AIDS, she stated that inequality, stigma, and prejudice in all their forms must be eliminated, and that promotion of female child education must be vital in helping to cut new infections among them by 50 per cent.
Speaking on the various interventions the government had undertaken in ending stigma, discrimination, and inequality, Mrs Osei-Opare announced that the Government had accepted to join the Global Partnership.
This would not only boost Ghana's position in the fight to end AIDS by 2030 but would also help to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
"We have the tools and expertise in place to end AIDS, we can, and must, join forces to achieve it," she added.
The Chief of Staff urged the GAC to use its rich public health response knowledge to bolster ongoing efforts against emerging pandemics and how they relate to HIV and AIDS.
Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director General Ghana AIDS Commission, said the country only possesed 33 per cent of the total funding required for the national response over the next three years, and that the other 67 per cent must be raised domestically.
According to him, the GAC was implementing a five-year resource mobilisation strategy to address the funding gap.
Dr. Atuahene stated that the Commission was developing an investment case for the HIV and AIDS response for the first time in collaboration with its partners UNAIDS, PEPFAR, and the Global Fund to provide realistic resource allocation options that ensure lower unit cost, cost effectiveness, and value for money.
"In addition to the investment case, we are conducting sustainable assessment and planning, which ultimately will produce a national HIV and AIDS Financial Sustainability Plan.
"These products will guide government resource allocation decisions and make a strong business case for the private sector to contribute to finance the HIV response in a sustainable manner," he added.
Mr Rolf Olson, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, offered the US Embassy's continued assistance and advised the public to test more frequently and seek counselling.
MrHector Sucilla Perez, Country Director of UNAIDS in Ghana, urged government institutions involved in the HIV response, traditional leaders, authorities, and development partners to improve work coordination with communities.
The Deputy Minister of Health, NAP+ Ghana representative, Ghana HIV and AIDS Network (GHANET), Dr Stephen Ayisi Addo, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Executive Oversight Minister of GAC and Minister of MESTI, traditional leaders, among other dignitaries were present at the Durban.
The GAC honoured some individuals and staff for their outstanding performance towards HIV response in the country.