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29.11.2011 Press Release


By Optimum Media
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1st December every year is marked in remembrance of HIV/AIDS all over the world. this year, the WEST AFRICA AIDS FOUNDATION (WAAF) is staging a spectacular concert at the Commonwealth Amphitheater in Legon. Even though the day is 1st December, the concert is to be held on Saturday 3rd December, 2011. This year's celebration is themed 'ZERO DOWN THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH'.

Nigeria's freshest rapper E.fine will perform alongside Macho rapper, Empress, Iwan and FOI. If you are thinking of how much u will have to pay for gate fee, u can save that because it will be absolutely free on entry.


Global statistics:
- 33.3 million people living with HIV
- 2.6 million new infections (per year)
- 1.8 million HIV related deaths (per year)
Sub Saharan Africa:
- 22.5 million people living with HIV
- 1.8 million new infections (per year)
- 1.3 million HIV related deaths (per year)
- 272,780 People living with HIV
- 25,869 new infections (per year)
- 18,479 HIV related death in 2010

• Expanded access to Anti Retroviral Therapy in sub Saharan Africa has the potential to prevent 4 million AIDS orphans.

• Women and girls need support
• In sub- Saharan Africa, more women than men are living with HIV. Young women aged 15–24 years are as much as eight times more likely than men to be HIV positive.

• Protecting women and girls from HIV means protecting against gender based, violence and promoting economic independence from older men.

• Countries with the largest number of pregnant women living with HIV includes Ghana

• Efforts have to increase to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole achieved 54% In West and Central Africa, 23%.

• Of the 19 of the 25 low- and middle-income countries with the largest number of people living with HIV, Eleven countries including Ghana had coverage of less than 40%.

The efforts of the West Africa AIDS Foundation:

WAAF continues to contribute to the efforts of the National response. The organization does this in many ways and for the last 13 years, WAAF's intervention areas have and still continue to be:

- Community counseling and Testing: where the organization has been able to reach approximately 30,000 people enabling them to know their HIV status. This has been made possible through funding from organizations like GAC, GF through PPAG, SAML-UK, GladStar Ministries,

- In school Sexual Reproductive Health Education: WAAF has also intensified its work targeting the youth and the organization does with education programs brought to the doorsteps of the pupils. During such sessions, school children are taught assertive skills, actual facts of HIV and AIDS etc. through this program, the organization has been able to reach over 200,000 school children over the last 3 years.

- Out of school Sexual Reproductive Health Education: As this group fall under the vulnerable, WAAF increases its efforts in reaching out to them on matters pertaining to infectious diseases and sexual reproductive health.

- Treatment and Management of Persons Living with HIV: through its onsite clinic, WAAF is able to cater for many persons living with HIV. Currently the clinic has a patient load of over 700 and is seeing about 300 new patients on an annual basis. On a monthly basis, 25 – 30 newly diagnosed clients join the HIV Disease and Management program of the clinic.

- Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission: Due to the national efforts of eliminating Mother to Child Transmission, the clinic is fighting hard to contribute. Collaborating with the public sector (some major hospitals) as well as the private sector (private clinics and maternity homes), the WAAF onsite clinic is seeing to about 15 newly diagnosed pregnant women every month. Currently, a total of about 150 HIV pregnant women are receiving PMTCT services from us. Through early testing of the child we can also see a great success rate of prevention of the transmission from the mother to the child.

- Pediatric HIV treatment and Care: Due to falling through the cracks of the PMTCT programs as well as not accessing the program at all or other reasons, some children of women are not able to be saved and unfortunately some become positive. Others too are finally diagnosed after series of tests are conducted. Currently the onsite clinic is catering for 25 children ranging from the ages between 1 year and 15 years.

- Orphans and Vulnerable Children: The Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project, created and implemented by West Africa AIDS Foundation in 2004, is focused on providing medical, psychological, emotional, and educational support to children affected by HIV . Since its inception, many children have been sponsored by the program and are partially assisted with school fees, antiretroviral medications, and general medical care. The program now known as Nkabom (togetherness) focuses on three encompassing activities, namely Nkabom, Care for Caretakers, and Station Days. Nkabom is a volunteer and staff driven program which focuses on creating a safe environment for children by teaching singing, dancing, acting, painting, and drawing. The Care for Caretaker program strives to ensure that OVC caretakers receive support by focusing on creating a community environment and a feeling of unity through counseling sessions and support group meetings. Finally, Station Days are implemented to ensure progression and growth of each child in the program, as well as to ensure each child is being provided with adequate care. During each of the station days, medical and psychological quantitative data is taken for each child while simultaneously providing a fun and enriching day of activities. This activity is used to gauge child development and to assess whether a child needs further medical attention or care. Many children through this intervention are beginning to show an increase in their confidence; they are much healthier and have access to people who care.

- Health Mother = Healthy Baby: this program seeks to support HIV positive pregnant women who are having constraints with good food. On a monthly basis, they visit WAAF and its onsite clinic where they are given food rations as well as educated on topics pertaining to their health. So far about 30 HIV pregnant women have had access to the program.

Apart from the above mentioned, WAAF has other intervention areas specifically on:

- Women's and Vulnerable Group empowerment
- Gender Mainstreaming
- HIV workplace (wellness programs)

WAAF has also opened 3 branch offices in 3 other regions of the country, (Northern, Western and Volta) sending its services closer to the people of these regions.

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