On November 30, 2009, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Donald Teitelbaum and Ghana Minister of Finance Dr. Kwabena Duffour signed the Partnership Framework (PF) in Support of the Ghanaian People’s HIV/AIDS National Response. This PF seeks to more closely align U.S. Government (USG)-funded HIV/AIDS efforts with national programs and the efforts of other international partners and civil society at the country level. The Ghana PF seeks to reduce the number of new infections, expand and improve the care and treatment of PLHIV, strengthen the policy environment, and strengthen health systems at both the national and community levels.
The signing of this Partnership Framework represents the culmination of a dialogue between the USG and the Government of Ghana (GOG) that began in 2008 following the reauthorization of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) under the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-293). This law supports the USG entering into PFs with partner governments as a means of strengthening collaboration to promote national ownership of sustainable HIV programs. PFs, such as this one with Ghana, provide a 5-year joint strategic framework focused on service delivery, HIV/AIDS policy reform, and shared financial and/or in-kind contributions. The partner governments are now working to develop a more detailed 5-year PF Implementation Plan, with annual benchmarks for progress against the Framework and a matrix detailing partner inputs to the PF objectives.
Ghana’s Partnership Framework
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ghana is a mature, low-level, generalized epidemic with pockets of high prevalence among certain sub-populations and geographic areas. Infection in the general population depends to a great extent on continuous bridging from core high prevalence sub-populations, such as female sex workers (FSW), their clients and non-paying partners (NPP), and men who have sex with men (MSM). To address the Ghana epidemic, the goals of the Ghana National HIV & AIDS Strategic Framework (NSF II 2006-2010), which are built into the PF, are to reduce new infections, mitigate the health and socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS, and promote healthy lifestyles. The activities of the framework fit other USG investments in health and development, which aim to address Ghana’s key development challenges by fostering a healthier, better educated, and more productive population. These areas for concentrated focus over the course of the Partnership should also strengthen GOG’s increased ownership of the HIV/AIDS program and result in a declining need for USG assistance over time.
Implementation of the Partnership should scale up the response throughout the country; contribute to the achievement of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and better position Ghana to address the epidemic over the long term. To address the epidemic in Ghana, the Partnership Framework is focused on five specific goals:
Under each of the stated goals, the USG and the GOG jointly identified overarching national targets, specific objectives to be addressed, and key enabling activities needed to achieve and sustain the stated goals. The document also lays out the expected areas of support by PEPFAR, the GOG, and other stakeholders. The PF will be supplemented by a more detailed Implementation Plan with benchmarks for progress and a matrix detailing partner inputs to the PF objectives. These bilateral objectives, while not legally binding, should create a policy environment that supports and sustains USG investments, as well as the long-term success of Ghana’s efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.
To ensure the transparent and participatory development of the Partnership, the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) established a Partnership Framework Oversight Committee, which also plans to ensure proper management and communications around the Partnership. The committee is chaired by the GAC Director General and is comprised of bilateral and multilateral donors, NACP (as the representative of the MOH), NAP+ (a PLHIV umbrella association), GHANET (a network of NGOs working in HIV/AIDS), and the Ghana Business Coalition Against HIV & AIDS.
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