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08.10.2004 Regional News

Sunyani gets 250 million cedis for anti-HIV/AIDS campaign

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Sunyani Oct. 8, GNA - Government has allocated 250 million cedis to a number of non-governmental and community based organisations in the Sunyani Municipality to intensify the campaign against the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Mr Ignatius Baffuor-Awuah, Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), announced this at the opening of a day's HIV/AIDS advocacy seminar organised by the Sixth March Women's Foundation (SMWF), an NGO, for opinion leaders in Sunyani.

The seminar on the theme: "Building a strong partnership for HIV/AIDS prevention" aims at developing strategies to assist in combating the disease.

Mr Baffuor-Awuah said the Ghana AIDS Commission had also provided 1.6 billion cedis for the Municipality to be disbursed to NGO's and CBOs towards the organisation of HIV/AIDS educational programmes. He said all the monies were yet to be disbursed since only eight NGOs had applied for it and urged interested organisations to apply. He said the activities of the beneficiary organisations would be carefully monitored to ensure that the money was used for the intended purpose.

The MCE entreated parents to educate their children about the dangers of the menace, saying as the leaders of tomorrow, the country's future development could only be guaranteed if they survived the pandemic.

Dr. David Opare, Director, Sunyani Municipal Hospital, said the authorities at the hospital were making efforts to provide a structure to accommodate HIV/AIDS patients to enable them to receive better attention.

He said the prevalence rate of the disease in the region was threatening as the number of cases reported kept increasing. Dr Opare advised the people to avoid casual sex and couples to be faithful to their partners to avoid falling victim to the menace. Ms Elizabeth Frimpong, Executive Director, SMWF, said her organisation aimed among other things at promoting and offering support to the poor, especially the girl-child.

She said the organisation catered for orphans of HIV/AIDS patients and sensitised the public on the menace to check its spread.

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