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26.01.2005 General News

GARfund provides funds to combat HIV/AIDS

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Cape Coast, Jan.26, GNA- The Ghana AIDS Response Fund (GARFund) has since 2002 disbursed 5.75 billion cedis to the Central Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to assist in combating the pandemic. Mr Ishmael Ogyeefo, Regional AIDS focal person who made this known in Cape Coast said 2.5 billion cedis was given to community based organisations, while another 2.45 billion cedis went to non-governmental organisations.
He was speaking at a day's workshop on HIV/AIDS and Culture, organised by the Cape Coast Centre for National Culture.
Mr Ogyeefo expressed the need for the district assemblies to develop strategic plans to fight the pandemic at the local level. He said he was worried that only Twifo Oil Palm Plantation has formulated a policy on HIV/AIDS in the Region, to check infection among the workers.
Dr Aaron Ofei, Regional Director of Health Services expressed concern about the HIV/AIDS infection rate among the youth.
Mr Samuel Yenyi, Member of the Regional AIDS Coordinating Team, said 810 cases were reported in 2004 as against 755 in 2003. Mr Emmanuel Quao, Regional Director of the CNC who spoke on the topic "HIV/AIDS and Culture, an Overview", said the country should screen foreign visitors to prevent social deviants from spreading the infection.
He said breakdown in traditional values had also contributed to the spread of the virus.
Neenyi Ghartey VII, Paramount Chief of Effutu Traditional Area, who chaired the function appealed to Ghanaians to change their attitudes towards HIV/AIDS to check the spread of the virus.

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