The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital has launched the stigma and discrimination reduction intervention against HIV, Tuberculosis and Covid-19.

It is aimed at increasing access to healthcare and treatment by patients of these diseases.

HIV and TB have gained recognition as major global health problems.

UNAIDS global statistics on HIV indicates that approximately 37.9 million people were estimated to be living with HIV worldwide by end of 2018.

Unfortunately, 24.5 million people accessed antiretroviral drugs by the end of 2019.

Despite a significant drop in HIV in recent times, new infections continue to occur especially among the young population, posing a barrier to efforts towards ensuring epidemic control.

Education at the workplace therefore constitutes a formidable strategy for the prevention of disease.

Director of Nursing Services, Mrs. Georgina Efua Sam, says the programme has become very crucial in stopping the collapse of the healthcare system.

“If we don’t look at stigma and discrimination, it is going to halt all the gains we have achieved,” she observed.

A representative from the Quality Assurance Unit, Ms. Faustina Acheampong said the hospital has put in place several measures to ensure total enforcement of patient’ confidentiality.

She however said staff will be rewarded for their ability to ensure a stigma-free environment.

“We’re going to ensure patient privacy by provision of curtains, screens, special places and even preventing unnecessary visitors.

“This enforcement is going to be done by clinical and non-clinical staff with support from management,” she is optimistic.

“Staff who engage in stigmatization behaviours will be taking through corrective procedures including retraining. But if your behavior is right, you will receive a positive award,” added Ms. Acheampong.

The programme is sponsored by the Ghana-West Africa Program to Combat AIDS and STI (WAPCAS) with funding from the Global Fund.

Over 900 staff of KATH have already been trained on stigma and discrimination reduction by WAPCAS.

Speaking on behalf of Chief Executive Officer, WAPCAS Project Manager, Dominic Adomakoh was hopeful “the launch will further shine the light on the need for all staff to protect the human rights of persons living with HIV and TB extending common courtesies while rendering professional services premised on high ethical standards, making KATH a stigma-free facility.”