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27.03.2004 Regional News

More AIDS patients die in Techiman

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Techiman (B/A), March 27, GNA- About twenty-seven out of 363 cases of HIV/AIDS recorded at the Holy Family Hospital in Techiman in Brong Ahafo last year have died.

Mr. Yaw Takyi-Acheampong, Techiman Municipal AIDS Co-ordinator at the hospital who disclosed this at a one-day workshop on the pandemic at Techiman said 98 persons out of 227 persons diagnosed as infected were males and the rest females.

The workshop, organized by the Assembly was aimed at sensitizing the workers on the high prevalence of the pandemic and how they could avoid it. Mr. Takyi-Acheampong said 120 male and 16 female potential blood donors were found to be HIV positive.

He noted that a "drastic change" in response to HIV/AIDS counselling in recent years and called for an overall approach in showing compassion for the sick.

Mr. Takyi-Acheampong attributed the increase in HIV/AIDS cases to the non-responsiveness to the disease.

Mr. S. Agyeman-Badu, Municipal Focal Person, advised men to avoid promiscuous lives since a person with HIV can live for many years without detecting his or her status.

He asked persons with continuous failing health to have a test of their status so that they could start medication early enough to keep them strong. Mr. Duodu Acheampong, Techiman Municipal Planning Officer, speaking on "Fundamental human rights and freedoms of HIV/AIDS patients", noted that worsening of the situation of patients as a result of stigmatization and isolation, led to sudden deaths.

He called for the recognition of the rights and freedoms of patients "since they also have the right to work for equal pay as well as the right to dignity.

Mr. Isaac Osei-Antwi, Municipal Chief Executive for Techiman admonished the workers to be wary of the high increasing rate of the pandemic and cautioned them not to attribute any death to witchcraft or a curse.