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24.07.2004 Regional News

Review gender attitudes that worsen the spread of AIDS

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Ho, July 24, GNA - Dr Naana Agyemang-Mensah, Country Director of the Hunger Project-Ghana, on Friday stressed the need for a review and modification of gender relations and attitudes that exacerbate the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Dr Agyemang-Mensah was speaking at the closing ceremony of a three-day National HIV/AIDS Animators Review Workshop for 51 selected participants from the Volta, Central, Eastern, Ashanti and the Greater Accra regions in Ho.

The workshop which reviewed the strategies, impact and challenges confronting volunteers was under the theme, "Transforming Gender relations: Key to Curbing the HIV/AIDS Menace" was organised by The Hunger Project-Ghana, an international development organisation. Dr Agyemang-Mensah called for a change in the perception of masculinity and ideal womanhood in the society, which in her view were skewed and unproductive.

She announced that a total of 149 communities and 15,231 individuals were reached by the volunteers and 8,787 male and 54 female condoms sold between October 2003 till date.

The Country Director said there had been drastic improvement in the attitudinal change, knowledge and practice of respondents with most of them acknowledging the enhancement of their sexual habits from promiscuity to sobriety.

The Volta Regional Minister, Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yuba, in an address read for him said the debilitating effect the menace was frightening and called for effective and holistic collaboration among Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), Municipal and District Assemblies as well as Civil society towards combating the disease.

He urged the Ghana AIDS Commission to co-ordinate the activities of related organisations to avoid duplication of services.

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