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02.11.2004 Regional News

Minister attributes increase in AIDS to indiscipline

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Nkawie (Ash), Nov. 2, GNA - Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, has attributed the rise in HIV/AIDS cases in the country to indiscipline among the youth, who engage in promiscuous sex. He noted that, the high prevalence of the disease among the youth could undermine efforts by the government to build a vibrant workforce, unless there was a behavioural change among the youth.

These were contained in a speech read on his behalf at an HIV/AIDS sensitisation workshop for students and youth groups at Nkawie in the Atwima District of the Ashanti Region on Wednesday.

Joy of the Lord Foundation, a Christian non-governmental organisation (NGO) organised the programme as part of its Ghana AIDS Commission fund sub-project, which was aimed at exposing the youth in the district to the dangers of the pandemic.

About 100 peer educators from 10 selected communities in the district have so far been trained under the project to educate and sensitise the youth on the dangers of stigmatising People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWAs).

Mr Boafo also decried the high rate at which the youth, who formed the backbone of the socio-economic development of the nation had taken to drugs and said such practices could weaken their immune systems and make them vulnerable to all manner of diseases.

He, therefore, advised anti-AIDS campaigners, especially peer educators not to over concentrate on sending messages only on the disease but preach against social vices during their outreach programmes.

The Reverend James K. Kwarteng, Executive Director of the NGO, said in the last four years, his organisation had donated hospital equipment and materials worth about 950 million cedis to the Kumasi South Hospital, Sefwi-Wiawso Government Hospital, Nkenkansu Hospital and the Wenchi Methodist Hospital. 12 Nov. 04

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