Ghana stands in danger of complete destruction from people living with HIV/AIDS who deliberately pass them on to their innocent victims, a medical practitioner, Dr. Anthony Quampah, has warned. And the injurious practice is taking place in both the general society and in the church, he told members of the Catholic Organisation for Social and Religious Advancement (COSRA) during a visit to Korle-Bu as part of activities to mark COSRA week.
Dr. Quampah, of the Fevers Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, recalled for instance a former student of the University of Ghana who, after being diagnosed and confirmed HIV positive, deliberately infected 46 married men and 75 unmarried others as an act of revenge before she died.
The Church, he said, is perceived as a safe place for Ghanaians to fight the disease, but rather it is turning out to be the worst place or the last place to seek salvation so far as HIV/AIDS is concerned.
He reported another case of a lady who was recently diagnosed and proven HIV positive, and the man with her turned out to be the husband. The man who is the Pastor of a Church, only got married to the woman last year June, whereas the woman had been diagnosed earlier in 2001, as HIV Positive.
He therefore called on would be couples to go in for HIV tests before marrying to spare themselves from a situation like the Pastor's.
Dr. Quampah regretted that those living with HIV/AIDS at Korle-Bu who have formed an association there rather resort to having sex among themselves, which he said reduced their immune systems drastically. He recalled one of the ladies wondering why she should not give in to any man who approached her.
He therefore advised Ghanaians to be wary of people they come into contact with, "for all that glitters is not gold."
At an Eucharistic celebration to climax the week-long activities, an Associate Cathedral Administrator, Rev. Fr. Michael Mensah, regretted that as the nation strove for total reconciliation that is geared towards nation-building, Ghanaians are rather full of hatred and bitterness, where they shun peace among themselves.
He said Mother Mary was full of peace and since they have chosen her as their patron saint, they should let peace permeate through their day-to-day activities to portray their Christianity. "In doing so many people will be brought into the Lord's vine yard through them."
He called on them to learn to appreciate each person's effort, live in harmony and above all be committed and dedicated to their call to duty so that they can stand the test of time, stressing that there are a lot of challenges that confront Christians today.
The COSRANS in their visit to the Fevers Unit, donated cash and food items to the children there. They also donated a lectern and two lapel microphones valued at ¢2 million to the Holy Spirit Cathedral.
Receiving the lectern and the microphones on behalf of the Church, a member of the Parish Pastoral council, Mrs. Anane Mensah, commended the group for their foresight over the years, which she said has gone a long way to address some of the problems that the Church faces.
She called on them never to relent in their responsibilities as a young group, but try to promote good and acceptable programmes for their spiritual upliftment.
Patroness of the group, Mrs. Victoria Debois, called on them to understand what their roles and responsibilities in the church are to offer their lives unconditionally in the service of the Lord.
Nine new members were initiated into the group.