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18.03.2005 General News

Govt, judicial bodies urged to protect rights of PLWHA

By GNA

Accra, March 18, GNA - The African Commission of Health and Human Rights Promoters on Friday appealed to Government and all judicial institutions to pay keen attention to the protection and defence of the rights of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

The Commission expressed concern that little had been done to prevent the infringement on the rights of the PLWHA, and called for the avoidance of stigmatisation and discrimination of PLWHA. Dr Edmund Delle, President of the Commission, addressing a press conference in Accra, said the protection and promotion of human rights was an essential component in preventing HIV transmission and reducing the impact of AIDS.

He said the protection and promotion of human rights were also necessary to achieve public health goals of reducing vulnerability to HIV infection and empowering individuals and communities to respond positively to HIV/AIDS.

The press conference was to announce the vision of the Commission, which was established in 1991, as promotion of human rights in Africa. The Commission also announced its outreach programme, dubbed: "AIDS Prevention through Health and Human Rights Promotion" which would take off on a pilot basis in some selected higher educational institutions in the Greater Accra Region.

The Programme would also expose the unfair treatment meted out to people living with AIDS.

Some of the institutions are the Ghana Medical School, the Institute of Professional Studies, Methodist University and the Central University College.

"Though workshops on HIV/AIDS have been organised for schools and even some schools have included programmes on HIV/AIDS in the curriculum, it is still pertinent once a while to have experts to talk to them [students]."

Dr Delle said the Commission believed that the workshops would not only raise the awareness of the disease but would bring the students to the fore of accepting the challenge of preventing the disease.

He announced that other activities of the Commission, included support in the form of medication, funds clothing for PLWHA. He said CAPSDH clubs would be established in the institutions to assist in HIV/AIDS education.

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