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09.06.2005 Regional News

People Living with HIV/AIDS are not on death sentence - Dery

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Nandom (U/W), June 9, GNA - Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister, on Thursday presented items valued at 50 million cedis to People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) at Nandom with a call on their relatives not to consider the victims as being on death sentence. He said although the people would one day die, their care and good human relations with them could make them more comfortable and prolong their lifespan.

The items donated by Ba-iibu, a Wa-based non-governmental organisation, included school uniforms, books, pens, pencils and other materials valued at 30 million cedis and a cheque for 20 million cedis Mr Dery said the stage at which the HIV/AIDS had risen to needed a concerted and holistic approach to reduce it.

"Those who are affected by HIV/AIDS are not devils, they are like us and need help and support to live normal lives in society," he said. He commended Ghana AIDS Fund, non-governmental organisations and chiefs for their roles so far towards the reduction of the disease in

Mr Damasus Tuurosong, Communications Director of Ba-iibu Centre of Excellence, said since August 2003, their organisation had been in constant touch with people living with the infection. He said their main objective was to empower the patients economically to make them self-reliant so that they could live decent lives before their death. Mr Tuurosong commended the Ghana AIDS Fund for their support toward the HIV/AIDS patients adding that they received about 200 million cedis for their activities.

Mrs Stella Naapaneh, Home based care co-ordinator of HIV/AIDS activities at the Nandon Hospital, said 35 chiefs and 35 volunteers had been trained to counsel PLWHAs while a total of 38 communities in the Nandom area have been educated on HIV/AIDS. She commended the Catholic Relief Services and other NGOs for assisting them regularly to take care of HIV/AIDS patients. Naa Poure Puobi Chiir, Paramount Chief of the Nandom Traditional Area, who chaired the function, cautioned the youth against unprotected sex as that could ruin their future.