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04.06.2005 Regional News

Anti -AIDS programmes are producing results in C/R-Edumadze

GNA

Cape Coast, June 4, GNA-Mr Isaac Edumadze, Central Regional Minister, on Friday stated that the various programmes on HIV/AIDS, embarked upon by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), Community Based Organizations and public institutions in the region, to reduce the impact of the pandemic, have started yielding the desired results. He said the region's HIV/AIDS prevalent rate, has fallen from 5.4 to 3.5 percent, and that this should inspire these organizations to intensify their campaigns to bring the rate further down.

Mr Edumadze said this in a speech read for him, to inaugurate the Cape Coast municipal 'Virgins and Abstinence' (VIRABS) Club, which comprises members of various virgins' clubs in 57 junior and senior secondary schools in the municipality, at Cape Coast. The club, which was formed at the instance of Centre of Awareness, an NGO based in Cape Coast, and has a membership of 3,000 boys and girls.

Mr Edumadze explained that abstinence was the best way of preventing HIV/AIDS, and stressed that the formation of the club was therefore, crucial in efforts at fighting the disease. According to him, there is an indication that when young people are well informed on issues such as career development, relationships and reproductive health, they behave responsibly and therefore, called on adults to educate the young ones about sex, to save them from contracting the pandemic.

He commended the NGO for the formation of the club, and advised its members to endeavour to live up to expectation. Miss Susana Mensah, the municipal focal person on HIV/AIDS, also in an address read for her stressed the importance of abstinence, and explained that the condom was not a guarantee 100 per cent protection against AIDS.

She congratulated the youth for taking a bold decision to become members of the club, and urged them not to allow themselves to be lured into pre-marital sex, as this could expose them to HIV/AIDS infection.

Mr Samuel Ato Duncan, president of the NGO in a welcoming address, said his outfit, in partnership with the Ghana AIDS Commission, has from July 2003, trained 120 teachers and sensitised 6,500 students on HIV/AIDS, in the municipality to step up education on the disease.

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