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05.07.2004 Regional News

Let's move from advocacy to action- Prof. Amoa

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Accra, July 5, GNA- Professor Sekyi A. Amoa, Director- General, Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), on Monday urged partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS to move away from advocacy to actions that would curb the spread of the disease.

"We have for the last two years been playing advocacy roles, which need to be changed for a different stage involving actions that would help move Ghana from its 3.6 per cent adult prevalence rate to total eradication."

He said the stage would need the involvement of local government institutions and grassroots organisations to be able to make the desired impact.

He was opening a workshop for about 50 participants attending a day's stakeholders' workshop in Accra on "Scaling up of District Strategic Planning for HIV/AIDS".

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) organized the workshop for selected participants from civil society organizations, the public sector and some development partners. Participants are expected to come out with a structured road map and some key stages of attaining a decentralized HIV/AIDS response plan. Prof. Amoa said without an effective local government initiative, the Commission would not be able to achieve the desired goals. "Success or failure of the national response will depend on the role played by the ministry," he said.

Captain Effah Dartey, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Lolcal Government and Rural Development said the battle on HIV/AIDS was yet to be won, hence the need for all to help curb the spread. Ghana, he said, was learning from the example of Uganda in their fight against the disease, hence the District Response Initiative (DRI) drive.

Mr Daniel Nyankamawu, Acting Chief Director, MLGRD, said following the creation of 28 new districts, new offices for the Commission were needed for effective grassroots collaboration.