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14.05.2004 Regional News

Don't be complacent about HIV/AIDS - Bart-Plange

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Vakpo (V/R), May 14, GNA - Ghanaians have been asked not to be complacent with the current low HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country but to assist to the Government to initiate positive measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

"Ghana is still enjoying a pretty low prevalence rate of 3.6 per cent compared to other African countries including our closest neighbours. However, we must not take things for granted, but we must come out with new initiatives to reverse the HIV infection rate."

Mr Micmac K. Bart-Plange, Executive Director of Ghana Needs Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation, made the call at a durbar of chiefs and people of Vakpo in aid of Save Our Future Leaders Foundation, a non-governmental Organisation (NGO) Orphanage, seeking the welfare of orphaned and destitute children in the area. The durbar, which was sponsored by the Ghana AIDS Commission, was under the theme: "Care and Support Orphans and Secure Tomorrow - The Role of Opinion Leaders."

It was aimed at affording a platform to educate the more than 200 hundred orphans at the Orphanage and opinion leaders of Vakpo on the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS menace.

Mr Bart-Plange noted that that HIV/AIDS was destroying several families thereby depleting the human resources of countries while many orphans were left to fend for themselves. He, therefore, suggested the formation of Community Conservation or Community Capacity Transfer Initiative where parents would be empowered and educated on their responsibilities and care towards their children.

Togbe Gbogbolulu V, Paramount Chief of the Vakpo Traditional Area, appealed to couples to desist from the practice of leaving their children in the care of their old and weak grandparents. Mama Ayawo IV, a Queenmother and Project Co-ordinator of the Orphanage, appealed to individuals and organisations to assist the orphanage. She also requested opinion leaders and public-spirited people to assist in the development of orphans in the area.

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