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05.06.2009 Health

Women living with HIV/AIDS in Upper West plead for exemptions J

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irapa, June 5, GNA – The Association of women living with HIV/AIDS in the Upper West Region, on Thursday, appealed to the government to consider exempting HIV/AIDS patients from premiums to various National Health Insurance Schemes.

They have also called on the government to include the treatment of HIV/AIDS in the free treatments contained in the National Health Insurance Schemes.

These were contained in an eight point communiqué, signed and presented by Marcelline Babang-yel, a leader of HIV/AIDS positive women at Jirapa.

The Women also called on authorities to punish health workers who declare the HIV/AIDS status of women during antenatal and post-natal clinics in an unprofessional manner as that leads to the stigmatisation of the women who then suffer socio-economic economic problems.

They also appealed to traditional authorities to find ways of abolishing widowhood inheritance because it was a major source of avenue of transmitting the disease.

The communiqué further urged health professionals, to among other things, consider stepping up their educational programmes in terms of support for HIV/AIDS patients and the end to discrimination against them.

Mr. Mahmud Khalid, Upper West Regional Minister, called for forcible counselling and HIV/AIDS testing of men whose partners had been exposed to the virus as most of the men were often not ready to go for testing.

He said such a move would stem the spread of the disease because the men who were possible carriers may still be spreading it.

“We have gone beyond the stage where women play as second fiddles to men. This is the time for them to stamp their authority in marital issues and make the men understand that it takes two to contract the disease.”

He commended Action Aid Ghana for supporting HIV/AIDS patients over the years and called on others to support the women to become comfortable in society.

Esther Boateng, Acting Programme of Action Aid, gave the assurance that her outfit would continue to support women living with the disease and called for cooperation from district Assemblies to enable them to carry out their social responsibilities.


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