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06.01.2005 Regional News

Pastors are last hope for HIV/AIDS sensitisation - Arde-Acquah

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Ho, Jan. 6, GNA - Pastors are the country's last hope in sensitising the populace on the dangers of HIV/AIDS now that studies have shown that most of the country's teachers do not believe in the existence of the disease.

Dr Andrew Arde-Acquah, Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), made this observation at the launching of the Evangelical Presbyterian (E.P) Church's policy document on the disease at Ho on Thursday.

A total of 148 pastors of the Church countrywide attended the launching.

Dr Arde-Acquah lauded the E.P. Church for formally launching its policy document on the disease as a restatement of its commitment to fulfilling one of its essential roles of healing the body and soul of the afflicted and helping the uninfected to remain so.

He outlined the main areas of national focus in dealing with the disease, which included advocacy, behavioural change communication, blood screening, clinical nursing and home based care among others. Right Reverend Dr Livingstone Buama, Moderator of the Church, who launched the document commended the youth of the Church for pioneering its preparation and application to HIV/AIDS education within the Church before now.

He said the formal launching of the policy document was to publicly announce its existence.

"You don't light a lamp and put it under a clay pot", he said. Reverend Richard Nimo, Youth Programme Officer, of the Church said the launching meant additional responsibilities for the pastors to visit those afflicted and affected by the disease and give them hope, educate those not infected to avoid dangerous life styles.

He said those who had become orphans because of the disease also needed hands of support and love, while communities living in fear of the disease required education to overcome their fear and protect themselves against it. 6 Jan. 05

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