Wa, Jan. 17, GNA - The high intake of alcohol at funerals and during festive occasions in the Upper West Region has been identified as promoting sexual immorality that ultimately results in the fast spread of HIV/AIDS.
As a result, the Regional Directorate of National Population Council (NPC) in collaboration with various district population action committees have embarked on an aggressive educational programmes to discourage people especially women from taking alcohol because of its negative repercussions.
Mr Mark Abugnaba, Acting Regional Officer of NPC, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview to find out what they were doing to curb the high rate of HIV/AIDS cases in the Region.
He said apart from their activities, African Youth Alliances (AYA) had also inaugurated committees in the Wa and Nadowli Districts, which had empowered the youth especially girls to articulate their views on sexuality and reproductive issues.
Mr Abugnaba said a lot of radio programmes had been networked to reach out to the youth, who were not privileged to be part of the training programmes. More He said series of retreats on HIV/AIDS had also been organised to equip leaders of various groups with the skills and knowledge to pass on important messages that could be useful to the youth in the communities. The Acting Population Officer advocated for the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages on festive occasions saying that could go a long way to curb the high intake of the stuff.
On elopement of girls, which is so rampant in the Region, he appealed to all social workers and collaborators on population issues to report such cases for prosecution to deter others from carrying out such negative practices.
Mrs Kate Bob-Milliar, Regional Co-ordinator of National Council on Women and Development (NCWD), who also spoke to the GNA on the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Region attributed the spread to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other negative practices. She said although FGM had been banned some people were still practising it behind the scenes adding that they would keep on monitoring to ensure that the practice was completely eradicated.