05.04.2005 Regional News

Step up fight against HIV/AIDS - Consultant

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Accra, April 5, GNA - An HIV/AIDS Training Consultant of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) on Tuesday called on all stakeholders in the fight against the dreaded disease to step up preventive efforts to effect moral change among the youth.

Mr Emmanuel Nuworzah, the Consultant, stressed that HIV/AIDS was having a profound impact on the national economy and needed to be combated through swift policies and actions to stem its further spread. He said this at a symposium organized by the University of Ghana Allied Health Students Association as part of their Second Annual Health Week Celebrations.

He noted that the youth were more vulnerable because they did not have adequate knowledge on sexual and reproductive health.

Mr Nuworzah said a survey he conducted revealed that some youth believed that coughing for a particular number of times and douching with washing bleach after sexual intercourse could prevent one from contracting HIV/AIDS or getting pregnant.

He said it was, therefore, unfortunate that educative youth programmes were not being sustained due to inadequate funding while existing ones did not reach the rural areas where some of these misconceptions were rife.

What needed to be done, he said, was to increase service providers, service points and increase funding for a multi-sectoral approach to the problem while involving the youth in HIV/AIDS programmes. He called on the students to take up the challenge to help in fighting the pandemic by educating their peers and the younger ones.

"Do not wait till the problem gets out of hand before you are called in as professionals.... You can start now by educating yourselves and the younger ones, who are the window of hope," he said.

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