Sheaga (U/E), July 8, GNA- An HIV/AIDS awareness quiz competition for basic schools in the Talensi constituency of the Upper East Region took place at Sheaga near Tongo on Wednesday, with a call on all to join hands in reducing the spread of the epidemic.
The programme is being organized by the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mr John Tia, with the support of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and the Bolgatanga Municipal Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES).
Launching the first competition for five Junior Secondary Schools in Tongo East, Mr Tia said the youth form almost half of the country's population, and that all efforts must be made to ensure that they grow healthy to become responsible future leaders.
He explained that the youth were more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infection and teenage pregnancy due to ignorance, and risky sexual behaviours. The MP pointed out that the young ones, when properly educated about the consequences of the disease to protect themselves.
Mr Tia advised the students to resist the temptation of engaging in early sex, because they would be exposing themselves to teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), including HIV/AIDS, and ruin their future.
He also urged them to take the messages on HIV/AIDS and other adolescent health issues seriously, while concentrating on their studies.
While expressing his appreciation to the GAC and the GES for their support, Mr Tia urged the citizens to contribute meaningful to the development of education in the area.
The Tongo East Circuit Supervisor of the GES, Mr Emmanuel Daam Sebiyam, thanked the MP for complementing the efforts of the GES, but regretted that newly trained teachers, including the natives, were reluctant to accept postings to the area.
He appealed to Mr Tia to intervene otherwise the development of education in the area would be affected.
Duusi Junior Secondary School (JSS) topped the five schools with 115 points, followed by Sheaga JSS with 80 points, Gaare/Gbane JSS placed third by 60 points, while Datuku JSS and Kulpeliga JSS tied with 40 points each.
Mr Tia later presented certificates, cash prizes ranging from 60,000 cedis to 200,000 cedis, exercise books with HIV/AIDS messages and HIV/AIDS educational materials to the participating schools.