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General News of Thursday, 7 September 2017

Source: Ghana News Agency

Capacity building for voluntary district citizen committee on HIV-AIDS ends

A capacity building workshop for a Voluntary District Citizen’ Committee members on HIV-AIDS to enable them to render effective and efficient services to patients in the communities has ended in Accra.

It was to help sharpen the skills of volunteers and update their knowledge on issues that border on monitoring of medicines in health facilities, access to anti-retroviral drugs, tracer medicines and family planning in some districts of the country.

The programme which was jointly organised and implemented by Janok Foundation, a Community Based Organisation (CBO) in Sabon Zongo, SEND GHANA, an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and Penplusbytes, with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), forms part of activities under a project dubbed, “ People For Health” (P4H).

The training was also aimed at promoting equity and reducing health inequalities by strengthening the capacity of both government and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) for mutual accountability.

Mrs Eunice Nkrumah, a Field Officer of SEND GHANA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the training was related to problems HIV patients experience in their communities.

She called on community members to stop stigmatising patients saying “put yourself in their shoes (patients) and asked how you will feel if you were stigmatised like the way some do to them”.

Mrs Nkrumah urged the volunteers to talk to families, friends and community leaders and persuade them to speak out against stigmatisation of HIV patients.

She said if they feel accepted, they would be open to discuss their status, situation, access health service and even help in educating others.

Mrs Rose Ackuaku, Deputy Director of Nursing Services (DDNS) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said combating the disease requires collaboration between health workers, patients and society in which they lived.

She said GHS collaborates with community leaders, to foster relationships and create an acceptable format, “Patients’ Charter Manual” to communicate important health messages to the people.

She said,’’ We in the GHS believe that educational efforts and support is one important way to start combating HIV at the most basic level”.

Madam Jane Amerley Oku, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Janok Foundation, also pledged to facilitate an effective monitoring in the selected anti-retroviral therapy facilities within their jurisdiction.

She said there has been a lot of HIV-AIDS patients treated because of good care they were enjoying in the communities and urged public not to discriminate against them.