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Ghana launches campaign to gather HIV/AIDS data

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Ghana has taken the fore front in the anti-HIV/AIDS campaign by building a system that gathers accurate data on persons living with the virus and its related services.

The system, Ghana Key Population Unique Identification System (GKPUIS), was launched in Accra on Tuesday by the Ghana Aids Commission (GAC) and its technology partner, West Blue Consult.

Ghana joins India and Morocco, as the only countries using the technology that is designed specifically to identify and account for services provided to vulnerable groups also referred to as key populations (KPs).

GKPUIS, as explained by the acting Director of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), Kyeremen Atuahene, is a platform developed with advanced technology as a secured centralized HIV and AIDS information system.

It has the capability to capture, store and analyze data on HIV and AIDS services given to affected key populations in targeted communities and health facilities.

Mr. Atuahene said placing some priority on persons whose lifestyles make them more likely to get infected is a best practice in public health.

He said for the purpose of planning, data and information on persons who are at greater risk as well as services given to them, should be accurate, authentic and verifiable.

“It is in this spirit of leaving no one behind that the GKPUIS was developed to strengthen monitoring and evaluation of HIV and AIDS programmes designed for key population”, the acting Director General noted.

Mr. Mark Addo, Chief Executive of West Blue Consult, the builder and technology partner of the GKPUIS, described the initiative as an excellent case study of using innovative technologies not only to address personalized health care delivery, but to assist with the secure and confidential management of personal health records for effective programme planning, monitoring and evaluation by Ghana AIDS Commission.

“It may interest you to know that Ghana is at the forefront of using such technologies to address these issues, with India and Morocco having achieved similar. I am proud to state that the Ghana Key Population Unique Identification System being launched today sets the pace for the emulation of like-minded countries.

“Additionally, the introduction of this system will improve efficiency of the Commission’s operations and assist in the long-term shared vision of meeting the Millennium Development Goals”, Mr. Addo added.

Deputy Minister for Health, Alex Abban commended the GAC and West Blue for the collaboration. He said GKPUIS would ensure that no one in left behind in gathering relevant data on HIV related issues.

The Deputy Minister pledged government’s support for GKPUIS and said his office would do all within its means to ensure the system works well because without accurate data, it is impossible to plan properly.

Ambassador Dr. Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi, Presidential Advisor on HIV/AIDS was chairperson for the launch.

She said GKPUIS would minimize double counting and aid in estimating the size of Key population sub groups.

“We are proud to announce that the Government of Ghana fully funded the development of GKPUIS and PEPFAR also funded the Training of Trainers for KP Implementing partners. The theme for this launch ‘Leaving No one behind by reaching the Unreached’ could not have been any better, because the system seeks to provide services to all key population and vulnerable groups as well as to improve data quality.

“Today’s launch charts a path for an improved, accurate and reliable data management system for Key population program in Ghana and also support efficient and evidence based planning which is data driven for the national response”, Dr. Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi added.

How GKPUIS works

To access the system, you have to visit www.gkpuis.gov.gh. After you have successfully done that, a log in screen pops up for you to log onto the system. On the log on screen, you would be asked to type your user name and password and after which you would be allowed to enter the system.

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