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General News of Sunday, 3 November 2013

Source: Sandow Seidu Kpebu

Lordina Calls for HIV Testing for Men

..... and their Partners

First lady Lordina Mahama has called on men together with their partners test for HIV and breast cancer. According to her, most children acquire HIV from their mothers during pregnancy, at the time of delivery or during breastfeeding. Currently, more than 235,000 people are living with HIV, about 60 percent are females and 11.7 percent are children.

Speaking at a community durbar on the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, Lordina Mahama noted Ghana has been working hard over the years to reduce HIV infections and significantly bring down the national prevalence rate.

Under the theme, prevention of mother to child transmission :the key to an HIV-free Generation, the Ghana First Lady chapter of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV and AIDS project is intended to augment efforts towards prevention of mother to child transmission. The programme, in collaboration with the Ghana AIDS Commission, is among the initiatives developed by OAFLA towards achieving this objective.

Lordina Mahama noted as part of Ghana’s 5-year strategic plan, the country seeks to achieve virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission. “This objective is achievable and can be done through simple, effective interventions within existing maternal and child health services, which are available in our health facilities.” she added.

Touching on breast and cervical cancers, the first lady noted that the low level of awareness is leading to avoidable deaths among women adding that there is a need for champions to lead the effort at awareness creation among our female population. She said a small percentage of men are also prone to breast cancer.

For her part, Director General of the Ghana Aids Commission, Dr Angela El=Adas noted the commission is proud to collaborate with OAFLA Ghana Chapter in this regard.

At Tanokrom, there was a free breast and Cervical Cancers screening exercise, HIV and syphilis testing amongst others. The exercise aimed at the prevention, early detection and treatment of reproductive health cancers.