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02.05.2004 Regional News

KAWDA launches HIV/AIDS awareness programme at Obuasi

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Obuasi, May 2, GNA - The Kaleo Area Women Development Association (KAWDA), an Obuasi-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) on Saturday launched an HIV/AIDS awareness programme at Gauso, a suburb of Obuasi with a call on NGOs to spread the HIV/AIDS message to the youth. Mrs Georgina Oklu, Deputy Director of Nursing Services in-charge of Adansi West district, who made the call, said since the youth are the future leaders, they should be assisted so as not to contract the disease.

She observed that the prevalence rate was very high in Obuasi and attributed a number of reasons, including multiple sex partners as the causes.

"From 1999 to March this year, a total of 1,766 new cases of HIV/AIDS have been recorded", Mrs Oklu said and commended the Ghana AIDS Commission for sourcing a number of organisations to assist in the fight against the pandemic.

Mrs Oklu announced that the Obuasi Government Hospital had initiated a programme to help check the mother-to-child transmission of the disease.

She advised the public to extend care and support to those infected and affected in the society.

Mr Asiedu Baffour, secretary to the District Response Initiative (DRI), announced that the DRI would soon organise training programmes for all Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) engaged in the fight against the HIV/AIDS.

He warned against the misuse of the Ghana AIDS Response Fund (GARFUND), stressing that, "it must be applied judiciously to help check the spread of AIDS in the area.

Mr Albert M. Annadie, Director of KAWDA, said apart from the HIV/AIDS activities, the association would diversify its programmes to help empower the women economically so that they could promote the education of their children.

"Kaleo Area Women Development Association is determined to bring women into the fold of development and encourage them to make use of their activities through seminars, workshops and public for a on women issues to enhance their natural development, he said. Mr Annadie added that, as an NGO, they would work to check violence against women and children in the society. REA 2 May 04

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