Health News of Thursday, 28 June 2012

Source: GNA

Traditionalist educates public on HIV/AIDS at Oda

Traditional authorities and religious leaders in the country have been urged to help in educating Ghanaians about the causes and prevention of HIV/AIDS.

“You could make a significant impact using your influence to ensure that people refrain from acts that hamper efforts to stem the spread of this pandemic disease.”

The traditionalist, Togbe Richard Kwame Ayittey alias Gakpo, whose traditional healing centre is located at Otwe Bedidua near Suhum, said this when embarking on an intensive HIV/AIDS public education campaign at Akim Oda in the Birim Central Municipality.

Togbe Gakpo, 43, a herbalist and consultant in spiritual ailment, started practicing 12 years ago and has stations at Amasaman, Oda-Nkwantanum, Asamankese, with Otwe Bedidua as his headquarters.

During the campaign, he visited more than 20 Senior High Schools, Senior Secondary Schools, some market places and communities in the Eastern Region, to educate them on the dangers of the disease and how to avert contracting it.

He also educated the people on the HIV/AIDS menace, saying, the disease was spreading at an alarming rate.

He said every effort should be made to curb the menace and urged married people to abstain from sex and be faithful to their partners or use condom, since the AIDS virus could not be spread by casual contact.

Togbe Gakpo said the disease was a social and developmental problem that affected all facets of life saying “AIDS is not only a health problem, since poverty, social exclusion and related concerns predisposed people to irresponsible living.”

He later told journalists who interacted with him that he believed in God and that before he accepted to heal both spiritual and physical ailments, he consulted his oracles “shrine” while he made referrals to the hospitals.

Togbe Gakpo, who inherited the shrine from his father, Hunorvi Kwasi Amaga, alias Danger from Amasaman, was emphatic that after successful healing, the charges ranged from fowl, dove, cat, goat and sheep.**