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07.08.2004 General News

IAE to introduce diploma course on HIV/AIDS

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Kumasi, Aug 7, GNA - The Institute of Adult Education (IAE), University of Ghana, will from the next academic year incorporate a course on HIV/AIDS into its diploma in Adult Education programme. Admission requirement would be the same as all other diploma programmes of the university.

Mr Samuel Badu-Nyarko, Principal of the Kumasi Workers College, who announced this, said it was to help deepen understanding of the causes of the disease, prevention, the global situation, counselling and care for infected persons.

He was speaking at the second graduation ceremony of an IAE/United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) sponsored course on counselling and care giving for 38 students in Kumasi on Saturday. The three-month course organised by the college through distance education exposed the trainees to real life situations by attaching them to health facilities for practical work.

So far, a total of 96 people have benefited while another batch of 40 students have just started the training course.

Mr Badu-Nyarko pointed out that HIV/AIDS had become a major catastrophe in the society and that concerted efforts on the part of all, was needed to contain its spread.

He asked the trainees to embark on sustained education of the people in their communities to help remove prejudices and stigmatisation of the victims.

Mr Michael Boamey, Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator and National Trainer, HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), told them to adopt better and effective strategies to effect attitudinal and behavioural change among the people.

He said they should use drama and role plays to reach out to the people with AIDS messages, adding that, they should also encourage the people to go for voluntary counselling and tests to know their status. Mr Boamey noted that in spite of the high level awareness, which he put at about 99 per cent, the prevalence rate of the disease kept rising.

The 2002 and 2003 median prevalence were 3.4 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.

He appealed to the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and the UNFPA to support the trainees to enable them to play their role in the prevention of the spread of the infection.

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