Accra, Nov. 10, GNA - It is estimated that 28 million people, representing 70 per cent of cases world-wide are living with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan African with 90 per cent of these in the prime of their lives.
In countries including Ghana, most of those infected form the bulk of the reproductive workforce, ranging in age from 15 to 49 years. These were disclosed by the Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Social Marketing Foundation (GSMF), Mr. Kojo Lokko, at the inauguration of the Work Place HIV/AIDS programme at the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in Accra.
He said judging from the situation in other African countries, HIV/AIDS would affect virtually all sectors of the economy if efforts to halt it are unsuccessful.
Mr. Lokko commended the leadership of the GCAA for their commitment to the institution of the programme and said that kind of commitment needed to be sustained to ensure the success of the programme. "Other companies should indeed not only pat you on the back but also take proactive steps to emulate your example tomorrow." He said the commitment of the peer educators was crucial to the success of the programme and urged media personnel to continue to set HIV/AIDS high on their agenda saying, "The media is an invaluable partner in this crusade."
The Acting Director-General of the GCAA, Nii Adumansa-Badoo said by safeguarding the good health of its employees, an organisation was securing its own future.
"It follows therefore that an organisation like the GCAA should do just that," he said.
Nii Adumansa-Badoo said the GCAA had put together a competent team of resource persons and facilitators to educate its workforce to adopt a lifestyle of responsible behaviour to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS at the workplace.
He encouraged GCAA staff to voluntarily undergo tests for the virus and also adopt safe lifestyles to prevent the contraction of the disease.
Twenty-two employees have been recruited from all levels of staff and trained as peer counsellors within the company. The workplace HIV/AIDS programme known as "Life Shield", is a component of the "Stop AIDS Love Life" campaign, which was launched by the GSMF in Ghana in February 2000.