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11.08.2003 Regional News

Cape Coast Municipality tops AIDS cases in C/R

By GNA
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Agona Kwanyako (C/R), Aug 11, GNA - The Cape Coast Municipality recorded 120 AIDS cases last year to top the Central Region while Upper Denkyira District was second with 89 cases.

Gomoa District placed third with 71 cases; Agona District fourth with 23 while Ajumako and Lower Denkyira Districts recorded five and four cases respectively.

Mr Paul Gyan, Central Regional Focal Person of HIV/AIDS, announced these at a two-week skill-training workshop organised by the Grassroots Empowerment and Peace Group (GEPG) a non-governmental organisation for 116 unemployed youth in the Agona district at Agona Kwanyako sponsored by the Ghana AIDS Commission.

Mr Gyan appealed to organisations, groups and churches to assist in the effort to curb the spread of the disease.

He advised the people to use condoms to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.

Mr Gyan who is the Regional Population Officer commended the NGO for organizing the workshop and called on District Assemblies to set aside funds to support the participants who were taken through soap and pomade production, snail rearing, beads making and bamboo processing to prevent them from migrating to urban centres in search of non-existing white collar jobs.

Mr Lewis Addae-Baah, Executive Director of the NGO, 10 people were trained as HIV/AIDS trainers in April this year while 179 passed out as Peer Educators for Nsaba, Agona Kwanyako and Agona Swedru. Among the Peer Educators were video operators, teachers, school pupils and representatives of religious and youth groups.

He said the organisation would now train the youth mainly school dropouts and to acquire vocational skills to enable them generate income.

The Executive Director said this would help alleviate poverty and also keep them busy to discourage them from indulging in indiscriminate sex, which could lead to HIV/AIDS.

Mr Addae-Baah said the NGO needed adequate funds to build the capacity of Community Base Organizations (CBOs) to deal with menace in rural areas.

He appealed to parents, philanthropists, District Assemblies and the AIDS Commission to assist the participants to start their own businesses.

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