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17.08.2003 Education

Amansie West Assembly votes 40 million cedis for AIDS Education

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Moseaso, (Ash), Aug. 17, GNA -The Amansie West District Assembly has voted 40 million cedis this year to support education on HIV/AIDS in the district.

Mr. Ben Kwakye Adeefe, the District Chief Executive, who announced this said it was to supplement government's efforts at combating the disease.

This was contained in a speech read on his behalf at a three-day workshop organised by the Moseaso HIV/AIDS Control Club, a Community Based Organisation (CBO) for about 120 people at Moseaso. It was sponsored by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and the participants were drawn from churches, schools and other social groups to equip them with basic information on HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

The workshop was designed to sensitise them on socio-cultural and personal behaviours and practices that help to spread the diseases and how to communicate with the public on them.

Mr Adeefe noted that the money being spent on HIV/AIDS education by the government may appear colossal but said compared with the annual develop budget and social infrastructure and services the amount was small.

He stressed that if the money was used for the actual purpose intended and the target groups took the education seriously for protective and preventive lifestyles, the investment on the campaign against the disease would yield invaluable dividend for the nation. Mr. Adeefe said the government could not afford to allow the vast human resource the youth provide, to be destroyed by the disease and therefore, appealed to every Ghanaian to take the education seriously and show commitment towards the prevention and control of the pandemic.

Mr E.K. Akoto-Sarpong, the District Social Welfare Officer, announced that the GAC had pumped about 600 million cedis into HIV/AIDS education in the district, while the district assembly had also received 20 million cedis out of the 100 million cedis grant from the GAC to the district for education on the disease.

He disclosed that the district now ranked third in Ashanti HIV/AIDS reported cases and said due to the various sub-projects being implemented in the district by 32 CBOs and four NGOs, the people had become more informed on the infection and were doing away with denials and superstitious beliefs on the disease and other STDs.

Mr. Akoto-Sarpong said, however, that translating the awareness into sexual behavioural change had not been encouraging and called for sustained education campaign.

Mr Oppong Akowuah, the Co-ordinator of the CBO said, they took a large group of people for the workshop so as to put them through a very thorough study of HIV/AIDS to correct their views on the disease, pointing out that though a lot of people were aware of the disease their understanding fell short in several respects.

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