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01.04.2004 General News

Ghana is not far from the AIDS "danger zone" - Andam

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Gomoa-Mozano (C/R), April 1, GNA - Professor Kwesi Andam, Vice-Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has said that the three per cent infection rate of HIV/AIDS in Ghana does not guarantee the safety of the people from entering the 'danger zone' of the pandemic.

Professor Andam gave the warning when he addressed students of the Mozano Community Senior Secondary School (MOZAC), on the dangers posed by AIDS as part of the school's first speech and prize giving day, at Gomoa-Mozano in the Central Region. He said because of the low infection rate of HIV/AIDS in the country, "we in Ghana sometimes think we are safer, but it is hovering around our doors," adding that some African countries which did not take AIDS warning seriously are reaping the harvest."

Prof. Andam said African countries like, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, and Kenya, which were currently grappling with double HIV/AIDS infection rate figures, began with the same single figures some years back before entering the 'disastrous zone' they now found themselves.

"No one has studied the infection rate in schools in Ghana, but we should not be complacent, Professor Andam further stated. He counselled students in the country's secondary and other educational institutions not to blow their lives away through promiscuity and other immoral acts.

Prof. Andam urged parents and guardians to attach great importance to the education of the girl-child by offering their female children equal opportunity to education at all levels. He commended the authorities of the school for their hard work, which had yielded notable dividends over the years and appealed to them to maintain the spirit.

Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Tsibu, Headmaster, repeated his call on the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports to expedite action on the girls' dormitory project to ensure its early completion to enable the school authorities to initiate plans for the boys' dormitory. He said the lack of adequate infrastructural facilities at the school was seriously hindering the smooth running of the school. He disclosed that since the school was established more than 10 years ago, many of teachers had live at Agona Swedru and attend commuted daily between the school and their homes.

Colonel Kingsley Kwame Nyame, a member of the school's Board of Governors and Mrs Ama Benyiwa-Doe, MP for Gomoa-West who also spoke at the function added their voices to the call on the government to provide adequate funds and materials for the completion of the girls' dormitory and classrooms currently under construction at the school.

Meanwhile, Mrs Benyiwa-Doe has promised to build one classroom for the school from her share of the MPs Common Fund and gave an initial donation of building materials worth more than eight million cedis.

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