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General News of Monday, 26 January 2004

Source: GNA

Commission adopts new strategy to combat HIV/AIDS

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Agona Swedru, Jan 26, GNA - The Ghana AIDS Commission has launched a programme known as "The work Place Policy Development" to protect employees and other high-risk groups from HIV/AIDS this year. Mr Sam Anyimadu-Amaning, Chairman of the Ghana HIV/AIDS Network, announced this at the Agona District World AIDS Day celebration, at Agona Swedru.

He said that the Commission would move away from organising floats and other forms of anti-HIV/AIDS campaigns including the printing of T-shirts and "unproductive workshops".

It would now promote peer education in communities, work places and schools and research into herbal approaches and care for people living with HIV/AIDS. He said that the Commission would also encourage income-generating activities for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families and the community to care for orphans created by the disease. Mr Anyimadu-Amaning urged the Agona District Assembly to collaborate with Non-Governmental and Community Based Organisations and other agencies to ensure the success of the new strategies to combat the pandemic.

He quoted former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa's statement that "HIV/AIDS is a war against humanity and this is how we should see it and fight it".

Mr Anyimadu-Amaning called on District Assemblies to establish Skills and Development Centres and to encourage Rural Banks to support micro-credit projects for the youth and women.

He expressed the hope that by 2005 there would be a wide range of prevention programmes in the country and that at least 90 percent of young people aged between 15 and 24 years would have access to information, education and services necessary to develop life-styles to reduce their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

Mr John Kwesi Agyabeng, District Chief Executive, said the government was spending huge sums of money to fight the disease because of the importance it attaches to human development.

The DCE called the AIDS Commission and other agencies to assist district Assemblies to fight HIV/AIDS. He also urged teachers and leaders of religious organisations to educate students and congregations about the dangers of the pandemic.

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