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07.08.2005 Health

RH advocate complains about parents protest against abstinence

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Begoro (E/R), Aug. 7, GNA- Operations of some reproductive health advocates are being hampered by claims by some parents that their children are losing interest in sexual activity or developing frigidity because of the teachings of those institutions.

Mrs Constance Boakye, Founder of Christian Virgins' Club disclosed this at Begoro in the Fanteakwa District on Saturday in an interaction with the press after the inauguration of her Club.

She said efforts aimed at promoting chastity among teenagers was being thwarted by some parents who were not keen on seeing their wards delay their entry into sexual practices.

For such parents, teaching children to abstain from sexual practices until they are married was tantamount to rendering them inactive or stupid.

Mrs Boakye said efforts aimed at reducing the HIV prevalence in the district, which currently ranks second alongside Wenchi District in the Brong-Ahafo Region would yield little result unless parents change their attitude.

She asked parents not to regard reproductive health related organizations as a threat to their wards welfare but rather as partners eager to help adolescents acquire responsible sexual habits so as not to fall victims to diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

Mrs. Boakye called for a re-organization of the society's priorities in favour of developmental activities instead of mundane ones such as huge and sometimes unjustifiably expenses on funerals at the expense of the education and welfare of children.

The Fanteakwa District Director of Health Services, Mr Frederick Kwame Ofosu, said current estimates indicate that seven people out of every 100 in the district were infected with the HIV virus, adding that unless there was a change in the patterns of behaviour, the number of cases would continue to increase.

This, he said, is borne out by the fact that while the 2003 sentinel report indicated a 6.6 per cent rate of HIV in Fanteakwa, this climbed to 6.8 per cent in 2004.

Mr Ofosu also advised reproductive health organizations to extend the coverage to non-virgins since focusing solely on virgins alienates sexually active adolescents from joining their fold although they could also benefit from the services of the virgins clubs. Alhaji Seidu Abanga, Deputy District Co-ordinating Director and the District Focal Person on HIV/AIDS reiterated the commitment of government in helping curb the increasing trend of the HIV menace in the country.