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06.08.2005 Health

Walk for healthy living-Church urges Ghanaians

GNA

Accra, Aug 6, GNA - Members of the Evangelical Presbyterian (Bethel) Church at Accra New Town on Saturday embarked on a four-hour health walk aimed to solicit funds to build a conference centre and a library in the twin communities of New Town and Kotobabi to promote learning and exchange of ideas among the youth to enhance development of the two areas.

The programme, which forms part of the golden jubilee celebration of the founding of the church, has five main objectives to create awareness among the communities to see the church as partners in development, draw peoples' attention to the fact that cleanliness is next to Godliness and keeping our environment clean the environment clean is a Christian virtue. It is also in support of the Vice President's campaign for greater discipline and to draw people's living in the communities along the route from Accra New Town last bus stop through Kotobabi, Pigfarm, Nima Highway, and Nima and back to Accra New Town's attention to the fact that clean environment ensures healthy living.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at the end of the walk, Reverend O.K. Klu District Pastor, said the Church organized the walk to inculcate in the youth the habit of daily walking as a means of enhancing one's health status. He said daily exercise of the body through walking has the added benefit of cutting down monies spent in getting treatment at the hospitals as well as buying drugs from the pharmacy. "We are also drawing attention to creating healthy environment for safer lives through keeping clean communities since cleanliness is next to Godliness," he said. Rev. Klu said the leadership of the Church had also selected for discussion topical issues on health care, especially the HIV/AIDS pandemic, to enable members to get complete understanding of the menace and how to better care for people suffering from the disease. He said the devastating effect of the disease among the country's youth; the stigmatization and discrimination against AIDS victims could only be addressed through better understanding and appreciation of the problem.

"It is our understanding that when people are better informed about the nature of the disease they will be better disposed to supporting and caring for victims," he said. The Church has drawn up a year-long programme of activities to mark its 50th Anniversary of the Church on the theme; "Unity and Peace for the National Development: The Churches Role."

Some of the activities lined up include; a symposium for capacity development, health talks on the menace of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, blood donation; community interaction and fun games. Others are the establishment of millennium development foundation, donation to vulnerable groups, a road safety campaign, excursion, musical shows and a tree planting exercise.

Rev. Klu said projects envisaged by the Church, including a new church building dubbed: "Millennium Monumental Building" at Kotobabi in Accra is estimated to cost two billion cedis. He appealed to benevolent organisations and individuals to help contribute in cash and kind towards the jubilee celebration and the success of the projects. The congregation, which started with four members in a private home in March 1955, currently has over 2,000 members.

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