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04.09.2004 Regional News

Bawku East recorded 280 cases of HIV/AIDS between 1999 and 2003

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Garu (U/E), Sept. 4, GNA - Nineteen new HIV/AIDS cases were recorded every month in the Bawku East municipality during the first half of 2004.

A total of 280 cases were recorded from 1999 to 2003, out of which 64 cases were recorded in 2003.

The total death toll could not be accounted for due to relatives' refusal to seek proper registration before burial.

Mr Osman Apusiga, Municipal Focal Person on HIV/AIDS made these known at a one-day HIV/AIDS stakeholder's workshop at Garu on Friday. Over 40 participants drawn from 14 communities within the newly created Garu-Tempane District attended the workshop, which was organised by the Garu Presbyterian Agricultural station. It was aimed at teaming up the community-based organisations (CBOs) with the view of supporting their roles towards the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Mr Apusiga noted that the cases could have gone beyond the reported cases in health institutions, explaining that most of the infected do not attend hospital due to poverty and fear.

He therefore, called on the participants to adopt vigorous strategies and pragmatic approaches to ensure that the message is clear to all rural dwellers.

The programmes Manager of GPAS, Mr Solomon Atiiga, in his welcome address, stated that, only through a concerted effort by all could help reduce the spread of the disease.

He said by sharing ideas and expertise among CBOs, they stand the chance of impacting positively on the behaving and attitudinal change of the people.

Mr Atiiga noted the enormity of challenges facing the area, adding, most of those who had heard the message have not changed their perception towards casual and unprotected sex. A resource person from the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital, Mr Sandow took the participants through the order of transmission, prevention and the effective use of condoms.

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