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07.07.2005 Regional News

104 porters at Agbogbloshie infected with HIV/AIDS

104 porters at Agbogbloshie infected with HIV/AIDS

One hundred and four out of the 4,199 porters at Agbogbloshie have tested positive for HIV/AIDS.

Out of the total number of infected persons, 80 of them are females while 24 of them are males.

Those with the disease have been referred to the Mamprobi Polyclinic, Wisdom Association at Korle Bu and Tema AIDS Support Union.

Executive director of Family Health Foundation, a non-governmental organization, Jane Okrah disclosed this at a Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for porters.

Executive director of Family Health Foundation, a non-governmental organization, Jane Okrah disclosed this at a Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for porters.

The VCT session for the porters was organized by the foundation with support from the John Hopkins International Educational Governmental Organisation (JHPIEGO ), the National AIDS Control Programme and the World Health Organization.

She said the VCT project started in July 2003 with the aim of providing VCT services to 3,000 porters by the end of June 2005.

Ms Okrah said the foundation sends regular reports and data to the Ghana AIDS Commission.

She said some of the challenges the foundation faced during the period was the difficulty in locating people living with the disease, difficulty in communicating with the porters because of the variety of languages they spoke.

The porters popularly known as “kayayei” migrate from the three Northern regions of Ghana down south to work as porters.

Some of the porters who are as young as 12 years carry goods for people in markets in Accra and Kumasi to make ends meet.

Most of them have no places to sleep at night so they resort to sleeping at the markets together with their male counterparts who push trucks.

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