09.03.2005 Regional News

Bolgatanga Hospital Starts Administering Anti-Retroviral Drug

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Bolgatanga, March 9, GNA - The Bolgatanga hospital will start administering anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAS) at subsidized price of 50,000 cedis a month.

Also, six more centres in addition to the existing three will be opened in the region to make the drugs more accessible.

These were made known by the Upper East regional HIV/AIDS focal person Mr. Sammy Anyogdem, at a three-day workshop for 17 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) involved in the support and care for PLWHAS in Bolgatanga. The workshop was organized by the Programme for Rural Integrated Development (PRIDE) an NGO operating in the Upper East region and funded by the Africa Development Fund (ADF).

Mr. Anyogdem said the region officially recorded 1,581 cases of the disease in the last four years, with the Kasena-Nankani district topping by 4.5 percent in blood sampling surveillance carried out.

He said many infected people were dying not because of the disease but because of stigmatisation, stress and discrimination, adding that all strategies must be used, including the grouping of PLWAS to share their experiences and testimonies to change life styles.

Mr. Anyogdem charged the participants to make it their goal to reduce the impact and spread of the disease on individuals, the family, societies and the nation at large.

The project coordinator for PIDE, Mr. Richard Akok' Dongo said, in an effort to make life better for people living with the virus, PRIDE is supporting four groups of 600 families with funds for income generating activities. It is also supporting 1,200 orphans with their educational needs.

He hoped participant would find the workshop very useful to enable them team up to make the support and care for PLWAS a priority in their communities.

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