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17.05.2004 Regional News

DCE stresses on disciplined society to check the spread of HIV/AIDS

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Obuasi (Ash), May 17, GNA - Mr Joe Boampong, Adansi West District Chief Executive has stated that the time has come for greater emphasis to be placed on discipline in the society to help check the rate at which HIV/AIDS is spreading in the country.

This was contained in a speech read for him at the inauguration of HIV/AIDS awareness campaign programme to be undertaken by Obuasi Zongo Hankuri Association and New Nsuta Peace and Love group at Obuasi at the weekend.

Mr Boampong said there was the need to redirect the current focus on awareness creation to the development of strategic activities that would promote behavioural change.

The DCE said efforts were underway to conduct a survey and institute behavioural sentinel surveillance systems and monitor behavioural change processes and trends in young adults. Dr Samuel Osei-Somuah, District Director of Health Services, said the position of Obuasi in the regional and national HIV/AIDS league table was not anything to write home about.

"We are first in Ashanti and fourth on the national league table", he said and stressed on abstinence, partner faithfulness and the use of condoms.

Dr Osei-Somuah urged parents to inculcate in their children the need to lead decent lives and avoid pre-marital sex. He urged the two groups to continue to undertake series of educational activities to help address the HIV/AIDS problems in the Obuasi community.

Members of the public must also be encouraged to do voluntary counselling and testing to enable them to know their HIV/AIDS status. Dr Osei-Somuah advised the public to erase the stigma they have attached to people living with the disease and instead, showed compassion to them.

Mr Edward Osei, Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Person in the district, announced that the government had a number of programmes designed to offer care and support to HIV/AIDS patients.

He added that the pandemic was no more a health issue but a developmental problem, which called for all stakeholders to assist in its fight.