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Regional News | May 18, 2004

Nyariga Community Launches HIV/AIDS Campaign

GNA

Nyariga (U/E), May 18, GNA - A forty million cedi HIV/AIDS sensitisation campaign for the Nyariga and Zaare communities near Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region was launched at the weekend. Launching it, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Rockson Ayine Bukari, stressed the importance of creating awareness of the disease, saying, government was committed to ensuring that its human resource base is not disrupted.

He said to show this commitment, the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) last year allotted about 120 million cedis to the Assembly for disbursement to Community Based Organisations (CBOs) to intensify education on the pandemic.

Mr. Bukari charged beneficiaries to use the funds for the purpose for which they were given, adding that any attempt to divert resources meant to fight the epidemic would not be tolerated.

He said the Assembly had put in measures to monitor the activities of beneficiary CBOs. The MCE advised CBOs not to concentrate their campaigns on the modes of HIV/AIDS transmission alone, but encourage people to show compassion to those living with the disease.

An official of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Mr. Kingsley Author, reiterated government's determination to support the GAC to curb the spread and consequences of HIV/AIDS.

He said monies meant for HIV/AIDS education is a loan contracted by government from the World Bank, adding that, members of the beneficiary CBOs stand to benefit from the campaign themselves, should they discharge their campaigns with honesty.

The Chairman of the Songtaaba Youth Association (SYA), implementers of the campaign, Mr. Patrick Azika, in a welcome address, said his outfit accessed the loan from the GAC through the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly and that it has trained school-based peer educators in drama and interpersonal skills in the communities.

He said it is expected that at the end of the programme, the Nyariga and Zaare communities would be more enlightened about the pandemic and to also show compassion to people living with HIV/AIDS.

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