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18.06.2004 Regional News

HIV/AIDS funds are not for charity- DCE

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Agona Swedru (C/R), June 18, GNA- Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and non-government organisations (NGOs) have been advised that funds given to them by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and the District Assemblies to create awareness of HIV/AIDS are not for merrymaking The purpose of the funds is to help fight fear, ignorance and shame meted out to people living with the disease.

This was contained in speech read for Mr John Kwesi Agyabeng, District Chief Executive for Agona at the launch of HIV AIDS sensitisation and stigmatisation programme, initiated by NAKFO Social Club, a community based organisation (CBO) at Agona Swedru on Thursday. He said the district assembly would institute a monitoring team to follow the activities of the CBOs in the district to ensure that messages on the disease go to the people at the grassroots.

Mr Agyabeng noted that every CBO should make efforts to deliver because funds allocated for the programme are accountable.

He said HIV/AIDS is real in the district and asked CBOs to work hard and check the spread of the disease.

Mr Agyabeng cautioned that CBOs who divert funds allocated to them would be penalised.

He assured the organisations that one percent share of the district assembly common fund earmarked to help fight HIV/AIDS would be fully utilized.

The District Chief Executive assured them that the assembly would soon be making available, six percent of the internally generated funds to HIV/AIDS programmes in the district and establish virus counselling centres to serve the public.

Mr Richmond Appenteng, Project Coordinator of NAKFO urged married and unmarried people in district to abstain from unprotected sex to avoid contracting the disease.

He said the organisation would soon organize a workshop for circumcisers and barbers in the Agona Swedru to sensitise them on the need to sterilize their equipment before and after business. Mr Appenteng advised women to always take along rollers and combs to hair dressing saloons whenever they wanted to work on their hair.

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