Apam, April 6, GNA - The Gomoa District AIDS Committee is to provide social services for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) and AIDS orphans in their homes.
It would also promote efforts to eradicate the stigmatisation attached to the disease, Mr Eric Akobeng, District HIV/AIDS Focal Person told the GNA in an interview at Apam, on Tuesday. He described stigmatisation as a major hindrance to the fight of the pandemic and stated that .
We need to encourage PLWHAs to openly come out for the necessary help to be given to them to live longer and not to go underground to infect others, Mr Akobeng said.
The Focal Person stated that enough education had been given to sensitise the people and said that at least about 90 per cent of the population knew how the disease was transmitted and to avoid it. He admitted that the home-based care had not been given enough attention by Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) working to curb the spread of the disease. Mr Akobeng said only one NGO, Allies in Development Partners, had been offering home-based care and support service.
From 1992-2004, 805 HIV/AIDS cases made up of 262 males and 543 females were recorded at the Apam Catholic hospital, he said and pointed out that the infection rate was still high due to a number of factors including poverty.
Poverty in the area, he said was the result of unemployment and the migration of fishermen to and from the district on fishing expeditions. Mr Akobeng commended the Chiefs for enacting by-laws to control wake keepings, which promoted the spread of the disease and advised the people to protect themselves from contracting the disease.