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Regional News | May 2, 2004

Akwamu Traditional Council launches anti HIV/AIDS campaign

GNA

Senkyi(E/R), May 2, GNA- The Asuogyaman District recorded 110 new AIDS cases last year, 45 of which were from people living in the district while the rest were from other districts who came to seek medical attention in the district.

The figure has almost double the 26 cases recorded for the district the previous year.

This was disclosed by Ms Gertrude Ken, Public Health Nurse of the Asuogyaman District Health Directorate at the launching of anti-HIV/AIDS campaign by the Akwamu Traditional Council on Friday at Senkyi near Akosombo.

She called on the traditional authorities to educate the youth in their communities to abstain from pre-marital sex since that has the greater chance of protecting them from contracting the disease. Ms Ken noted that advice to the recalcitrant youth to use the condom had not been effective because "most people do not know how to effectively use the condom resulting in disappointments when the condom drops out or bursts when in use."

She therefore, urged the traditional authorities to establish virgins clubs in their communities and encourage the youth in their communities to join.

Ms Ken said drugs that could help reduce the mother-to-child transmission had been developed and advised the traditional authorities to encourage pregnant women in their communities to attend anti-natal clinics so that those found to be HIV positive would be counselled on how to avoid the extension of the disease to their babies.

She urged parents to develop the courage to talk to their children about their reproductive health to help reduce the effect of peer pressure on them which often lead them into trouble.

The Acting President of the Akwamu Traditional Council, Nana Amo Bekai, likened the crusade against the HIV/AIDS to the springing up of Christian religion and sin, noting "the more churches spring up and improvement in the propagation of the gospel, the more society records increasing numbers of social evils."

He said the situation looked threatening and urged the chiefs and queenmothers in the area to organise forums in their communities to educate their people on what they have learned at the launching programme.

Nana Bekai recalled that before drugs could be developed to control diseases like Tuberculosis, small-pox and other infectious diseases, traditional authorities in those days played a major role in preventing the spread of those diseases from mass killing of the people and hoped that when Chiefs and Queenmothers get involved in the anti HIV/AIDS campaign, much would be achieved.

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