General News of Tuesday, 27 April 2004
Kumasi, April 27, GNA- A suggestion has been made to African scientists to stop brushing aside claims by traditional healers of having developed a cure for the HIV/AIDS diseases.
Instead, such claims must be thoroughly investigated to ascertain the truth or otherwise.
Mr S.K. Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, who made the suggestion, observed that some of the claims might be genuine but because scientists brand them as unscientific, it makes Africa to loose the opportunity to develop a cure for the disease.
Mr Boafo was speaking at a day's seminar organised in Kumasi on Tuesday by the Ashanti regional secretariat of the National Service Scheme (NSS) for service personnel newly posted to the Offinso, Sekyere West and Kumasi metropolitan area in the region.
The seminar, which was held under the theme: "Dissemination Of Current And Accurate Information/Knowledge on HIV/AIDS To Newly Posted National Service Personnel", was attended by 200 of the personnel. The Regional Minister explained that brushing aside claims of "our African traditional healers is not only unfair to the continent but will continue to hamper our efforts at seeking a cure or solution to the pandemic".
Mr Boafo stressed the need for the compilation of accurate and current data on the menace.
Mr Kwesi Quainoo, Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator of the NSS, said even though enough education and awareness creation had already been carried out, many people are still adamant to change. He said it was crucial for national service personnel to also actively join in the crusade to remind people especially those in the rural stations about the dangers of the HIV/AIDS.
Mr Quainoo was optimistic that it is only through persistent reminders that a change of attitude by people towards the deadly disease could be achieved.
Mr Andrew Agyei Druye, Programme Officer of the Health Education Unit, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), reminded the participants that HIV could be transmitted not only through the normal sexual intercourse but "anal sex which he described as even having a higher risks of HIV transmission than normal sex".