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06.08.2005 General News

Teachers should live morally upright lives to avoid AIDS

GNA

Apam, Aug. 6, GNA - The Gomoa District Chief Executive (DCE), Ms Joyce Aidoo has urged teachers to lead morally upright lives to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS. Ms Aidoo said alarming reports on surveys conducted by The United Nations AIDS Programme and the World Health Organisation on HIV/AIDS in some African countries indicated that infection rates among teachers were high.

She was speaking at a workshop on HIV/AIDS organised by Hacky Films, a private enterprise with funds provided by Ghana AIDS Commission for head teachers of basic schools in Gomoa District at Apam. "If teachers who are supposed to be role models for our children are dying of AIDS what will be the fate of the children?" she asked. The DCE said the heavy investment the government and donor partners were making to improve educational facilities would be meaningless if teachers died of AIDS.

Mr Eric Akobeng, District Focal Person on HIV/AIDS, who was the main facilitator, repeated his appeal to Ghanaians not to rejoice over the drop in the nation's HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. He said the drop from 3.6 per cent to 3.1 per cent was still high to warrant the concern of every Ghanaian. Mr Steve George Hackman, Executive Director of Hacky Films, appealed to relatives and friends of people living with the disease not to regard them as outcasts, but rather treat them with compassion to encourage them to come out to assist in spreading the message about its prevention.

"They can speak with authority and immediacy on the disease more than people who are not infected, Mr Hackman stated. Mr John Yamoah, Programme Co-ordinator, urged the head teachers to protect pupils and students living with the disease from being taunted by their peers in school. "Already some of our classes are without teachers and we do not want the problem to be compounded by AIDS," he said.

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