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01.11.2002 General News

Screen refugees as a measure to check spread of AIDS - GHANET

By gna
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Mr. Donkris Mevuta, Western Regional focal person of the Ghana HIV/AIDS network (GHANET) has called for precautionary measures to ensure that the influx of refugees from Cote D'Ivoire and other African Countries, does not increase the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in the country.

He made the call at the election of the regional executives of GHANET at Takoradi on Tuesday.

Mr. Mevuta said refugees, particularly from Cote D'Ivoire, which has high HIV infection rate, would worsen the country's infection rate if adequate steps were not taken to check the spread of the disease.

He therefore, urged stakeholders, activists and individuals to work together to bring about behavioural change in the people.

Mr. Mevuta said many people in the country do not patronise health institutions but go to traditional healers with their problems, adding that this is making it more difficult to combat the disease.

Mr. Mevuta suggested to the government to involve traditional healers in the HIV/AIDS prevention programmes.

Mr Joe Adusei, newly elected regional secretary of GHANET said an average of 100 HIV/AIDS cases were recorded every month at the Effia Nkwanta hospital at Sekondi last year.

He said the figure could be higher because a large number of people do not report at hospitals with their ailments.

Speaking after the election, Mrs Cecilia Blankson-Oduro, the regional chairperson of the network, called on organisations engaged in HIV/AIDS programmes, to re-double their efforts to stop the spread of the disease.

She said the regional network would team up with other non-governmental organisations to take care of HIV/AIDS patients.

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