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General News of Thursday, 31 July 2003

Source: GNA

CBOs cannot account for C1.4 billion cedis

Koforidua, July 31, GNA- Some 114 Community Based Organisation (CBOs), have absconded with over 1.4 billion cedis meant for HIV/AIDS programmes.

The amount was made available by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC). The New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Nana Adjei Boateng said this in an address read on his behalf at a workshop for 55 members of workplace HIV/AIDS committees from the municipality.

The MCE described the attitude of the CBOs as "shameful".

"The situation is very appalling and portrays our unsympathetic attitudes and tendencies towards people living with HIV/AIDS and also derails the government's effort and policy of reducing the infection rate in the country'', he said.

He warned that CBOs and NGOs who have either misused or absconded with the fund would face the law.

Nana Boateng said some of these CBO's and NGOs that received funding from the Commission and the GARDFund are not using the funds for HIV/AIDS activities.

He said the assembly, through the Commission, has given 125 million cedis to support some CBOs in their activities.

In addition 10 NGOs working on HIV/AIDS programmes were also given 200 million cedis each sourced from GARDfund to assist them in fighting the disease.

Nana Adjei Boateng said the workshop has come at a time when every effort is being made to curb the increasing infectious rate of HIV/AIDS in the municipality, which is leading with 8.5 percent, three per cent above the national rate.

He called on people in Koforidua to help reverse the trend "else the municipality will be turned into a home of pain, death and disaster".

Mrs Kate Parkes, Co-ordinator of Policy Project-Ghana, an NGO, said the organisation has set up six reproductive health advocacy networks in five districts in the Eastern Region.

They were provided with technical assistance to respond to the impacts of HIV/AIDS pandemic and sustain their advocacy activities. She commended the New Juaben Reproductive Health Advocacy Network for targeting the workplace and forming workplace committees to combat the spread of the disease.

Mrs Parkes suggested to the committee members to organise programmes, which would educate their colleagues on facts based on HIV/AIDS/STI, testing, counselling and treatment as well as components of successful prevention programmes.