18.10.2004 Regional News

AIDS is turning out more orphans

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Koforidua, Oct. 18, GNA - The Deputy Director of Social Welfare In-Charge of Community Care Programme, Mr Shyne Kofi Kumah, has said the HIV/AIDS pandemic had created about 150,000 orphans and vulnerable children in the country.

He said the fear of a worsening situation had led the Department to institute the Orphan and Vulnerable Initiative (OVI) aimed at meeting the basic needs of the affected children.

Mr Kumah was speaking at the opening of the 6th Annual Review Performance workshop of the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) at Koforidua on Monday, on the theme "Right Based Approach to Social Welfare Service Delivery".

The workshop was being attended by 60 participants including regional directors, programme heads and heads of Social Welfare institutions in the country.

Mr Kumah, who spoke on the topic, "Orphaned Vulnerable Children and HIV/AIDS", said as a Department, one of the responsibilities social workers would have to focus on was to provide psychosocial support and counselling to the orphaned and their families.

He charged the participants to identify strategies to be adopted for the orphaned vulnerable children, identify Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) and build their capacity under a constituted District Response Initiative (DRI) team.

The Director of Social Welfare, Mrs Mary Imedia Amadu expressed concern about the manner some NGOs, who were supposed to fight against the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic were going about their work and called for measures to streamline the trend for effectiveness. She asked the participants to plan how to take care of the orphaned vulnerable children that could make impact on their lives and their families.

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