168 HIV/AIDS counsellors graduate
Accra, Jan. 15, GNA - One hundred and sixty eight participants of the HIV/AIDS Counselling and Care-Giving Distance Education course, who graduated on Saturday from the Institute of Adult Education, University of Ghana have been urged to do all they could to bring about behavioural change.
The participants were told to encourage effective thinking among people, making HIV/AIDS more meaningful by relating them to real life situations. Mr Reuben Aggor, Acting Director of the Institute of Adult Education said the group was the third batch participating in the programme.
He explained that the programme was a national programme and participants were selected nation-wide. "In all we had 286 participants in the third batch. The others were at Kumasi, Takoradi, Koforidua and Bolgatanga," he said. Mr Aggor said the programme was introduced to make education on HIV/AIDS available to more people "especially adults, who do not learn only for their personal development but also to assist others in the community".
He announced that a new course that would expand discussions on topics such as Reproductive Health Education, Communication skills, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, HIV/AIDS and NEPAD and Millennium Goals was being designed.
The new programme, he said would have modules, which are more user-friendly to make it easier for the students to learn and would enrol more learners to enable others learn about HIV/AIDS. Mr Aggor said the Institute also intends to upgrade the current certificate programme into a diploma one.
Professor Ofori Sarpong, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, who chaired the function reminded the participants of their huge responsibility to talk about the spread of the disease. "Be patient and employ good counselling techniques in your activities, be tactful to woo your clients to listen to you and adopt the new behaviours that emerge out of your discussions," he said.
Ms Samuel Alhassan, operation Manager of the UNFPA, who spoke on behalf of Mr Makane Kane, UNFPA Representative said, there was the need to expand access to reproductive health services. He noted that the modest socio-economic developments achieved were being undermined by HIV/AIDS.