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Regional News of Wednesday, 30 July 2003

Source: GNA

Teenage pregnancy is on the increase in Gomoa

Mumford (C/R), July 30, GNA - Teenage pregnancy is on the increase in the Gomoa District, a survey conducted by National Population Council in the district has said.

According to the survey women above the age of 19 in the area who had no children were often taunted and ridiculed for being barren. Mr. Eric Akobeng, District HIV/AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Persons who made this known at a workshop at Mumford on Tuesday said out of 1,979 pregnant women who attended antenatal clinic at Apam in 2001, 242 were below the age of 20, representing 12 per cent of the total attendance, while last year, 234 out of 1,539 representing 12.20 per cent was recorded.

The Apam Salvation Army Youth Club, a community based organization engaged in the anti-HIV/AIDS campaign in the district, organized the workshop.

Eighty barbers and hairdressers from Ankamu, Apam and Mumford attended the workshop, which was sponsored by the Ghana AIDS Commission. On the recent importation of anti-retroviral drugs into the country, Mr. Akobeng advised Ghanaians not to regard it as panacea for the disease.

He reminded them that no cure had been found for disease yet and that the drugs were only meant to prolong the lifespan of patients for a certain period.

He appealed to the people to be compassionate with AIDS victims to avoid driving them into seclusion and advised married coupled not to seek divorce in the event of one of them testing HIV positive. Captain Justice Incoom, Chairman of the organisation appealed to Ghanaians to change their sexual habits to help reduce the spread of the disease.

He said the interventions being put in place to curb the spread of the disease could only make meaningful impact if the people changed their sexual lifestyles.