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14.04.2004 Regional News

Catholic HIV/AIDS Co-ordinator Appeals for Support for Victims.

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Bolgatanga, April 14, GNA- The acting HIV/AIDS coordinator of the Navrongo- Bolgatanga Catholic diocese, Miss Matilda Yelbaya has appealed to individuals and organizations to help the Church take care of children living with and orphaned by HIV/AIDS in the Upper East Region. Making the appeal through the GNA, Miss Yelbaya said the diocese has reached out to over 200 communities in the region to create the awareness on the dangers of the disease, and has been able to form an association known as Yinpanga or "God's Power" in the communities. Miss Yelbaya said these associations, together meet once every month to receive drugs and food rations.

She said the Bolgatanga community alone has more than 200 children, the youngest being less than a year old, living with and orphaned by the deceased.

The church administers drugs and food, which she described as often not enough to meet the needs of the children. The acting co-ordinator said the resources of the diocese are over-stretched since new cases were being registered almost every day. He appealed for support from various groups to contribute to cater for the nutritional needs of the children, as they require food to build up their resistance.

The Reverend Father Augustin Ayaga of the diocese said people should disabuse their minds of the existence and spread of HIV/AIDS because the disease is real and is no respecter of persons, more so when it affects innocent children.

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