Health News of Saturday, 14 May 2011

Source: GNA

HIV and AIDS render 160,000 children orphans in Ghana

Sekondi, May 12, GNA - One hundred and sixty thousand children have become orphans since HIV and AIDS was detected in the country in 1986.

Dr Fred Nana Poku, Technical Manager of the Ghana AIDS Commission made this known at a day's regional review meeting of stakeholders in the health sector in Sekondi.

Dr Poku said the situation called for a pragmatic approach involving stakeholders to ensure that the menace was reduced drastically.

He expressed the need for the citizenry to lead responsible lives and adhere strictly to counselling offered by experts to prevent contracting the disease, which was gradually devastating the productive youth.

The review meeting was attended by focal persons on AIDS, medical doctors, nurses, care givers and service providers.

Reports submitted at the meeting mentioned inadequate allowances for service providers, delay in submission of reports by service providers, deplorable road net work, lack of treated bed nets for bedridden clients as some of the challenges undermining efforts to combat HIV and AIDS in the country.

Mr Bismark Obeng Kusi, Programme Officer of the Opportunity Industrialisation Centre International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) pointed out that since the HIV and AIDS was detected in the country much attention had been given to People Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs)to lead normal lives in order to prolong their lifespan.

The PLWHAs and HIV and AIDS orphans are also supported with counselling and support in cash or in kind to enable them lead normal lives.

Mr David Yaro, Chief Director at the Western Regional Co-ordinating Council asked the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to endeavour to release some percentage of their share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund to support HIV and AIDS programmes so that the productive youth would be in good condition to contribute their quota to the socio-economic development of the nation.

He said HIV and AIDS service providers should submit data on their work to the MMDAs to help in the monitoring of their performance in order to win more support for their work

Mr Yaro asked NGOs championing the course of HIV and AIDS to exhibit transparency in working with the MMDAs in order to achieve the desired results.