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28.11.2003 Regional News

Include puberty rites in HIV/AIDS campaign - chief

By GNA
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Asuofua (Ash), Nov 27, GNA- A chief on Thursday appealed to NGOs and other groups involved in the crusade against HIV/AIDS to include puberty rites in their messages as one of the ways to curb the spread of the disease.

Nana Agyei Boakye, chief of Asuofua in the Atwima District, said since the surest way of curbing the spread of the pandemic was through abstinence from indiscriminate sex, teaching the youth the benefits of puberty rites will go a long way to sensitise them to appreciate abstinence.

He was speaking at a durbar to mark this year's World AIDS Day celebration, which had its theme "Reducing Stigma and Discrimination Against People Living with HIV/AIDS".

It was organised by the Centre for Missions and Community Management (CMCM), a non-government organisation (NGO) in collaboration with the Ghana Aids Commission (GAC).

Nana Boakye said he was not happy about the misconception associated with puberty rites, attributing it to the infiltration of foreign culture and said it was about time Ghanaians revisited the past.

"If we are to make any meaningful headway in the crusade against this deadly disease, then some of our useful customary practices like puberty rites, should be re-introduced to help inculcate into the youth the need to remain pure till marriage."

Mrs Betrice Appah, the Atwima District Director of Health Services said, the celebration of World AIDS Day should dawn on Ghanaians, the need for everybody to be involved in the crusade to save the nation from being destroyed by the pandemic.

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