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27.08.2004 General News

Support research on HIV/AIDS- Aliu

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 27, GNA- Vice President Aliu Mahama on Friday urged international funding organisations to support research on HIV/AIDS, particularly, activities that would lead to the adoption of positive attitude, behaviour and lifestyle to reduce the spread of the disease. He said Ghana had achieved nearly 100 per cent success rate on the creation of awareness on the disease but this feat has not transformed into positive behavioural change.

The Vice President said this when he received Dr Pat Youri, Executive Director of Hope for African Children Initiative (HACI), an NGO at the Castle, Osu.

The Initiative is a global organisation that mobilises funds to support the educational, health, nutritional and other social needs of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Since the beginning of the year HACI, which works through non-governmental organisations, has spent nearly six billion cedis on activities in 240 communities in nine regions.

Vice President Mahama said the Government, concerned about the impact of HIV/AIDS on Ghana's socio-economic progress, secured 35 million dollars to fight the disease.

" Though there is still much work to be done to stem the spread of the disease, the fund is almost exhausted," he said.

He, therefore, welcomed the assistance of organisations such as HACI and urged them to spread their activities to cover every corner of the country.

Dr Youri said HACI, headquartered in Washington, US, was formed three years ago to give relief to children affected by HIV/AIDS as many assistance programmes on the pandemic was more focused on adults to the neglect of children.

HACI's assistance has since been extended to cover orphans, whose parents die from malaria, motor accidents and other disasters. Dr Youri said HACI was seeking closer collaboration with governments, especially in the formulation of policies to make its work more effective.

In an interview with journalists, Mrs Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, Country Representative of HACI Ghana, said about 20,000 orphans received direct aid from the organisation.

However, assistance in the learning materials, income generating activities and skills training benefit about 100,000 people. She explained that HACI was not operating in the Upper West region because no proposal had been received in line with HACI's operations. 27 Aug. 04

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