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15.06.2005 Regional News

TB patients advised to know their HIV/AIDS status

GNA

Apam (C/R), June 15, GNA - The Executive Director of Allies in Development Partners, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mr Emmanuel Amokwandoh, has advised people with Tuberculosis (TB) to go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) to enable them know their HIV status.

Mr Amokwandoh noted that TB was one of the opportunistic diseases, which worried People Living With AIDS (PLWAs) and said the organisation aimed at helping TB patients to have access to VCT and medical attention.

He said co-ordinators were being trained with the help of Tuberculosis Unit of the Ghana Health Service to help them. Mr Amokwandoh gave the advice at an HIV/AIDS forum at Apam organised by the Gomoa District AIDS Committee to discuss the district's situation report on the pandemic.

Allies in Development Partners offers care and support services in collaboration with the Apam Catholic Hospital to PLWAs and orphans in the Gomoa District.

Mr Amokwandoh advised TB patients to report to health facilities in time since early treatment could save their lives and control the spread of the disease.

He urged leaders of prayer camps to send suspected cases to hospital for diagnosis and treatment. Mr Eric Akobeng, Gomoa District Focal person on HIV/AIDS, said the district recorded 851 cases from 1992 to March 2005 at the hospital. He said the figure was made up of 566 females representing 67 per cent and 285 males being 33 per cent. Out of this 46 cases were recorded from January to March this year, which meant that an average of four people were infected every week, he said.

Mr Akobeng said the cases recorded indicated that the infection rate in the district was high and appealed to the people to refrain from unprotected sex. 15 June 05

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