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28.08.2005 Regional News

Youth must positively influence Peers - Osafo


Tema, Aug. 28, GNA -- Mrs Cecilia Hughes Osafo, Programme Co-ordinator of Excell Foundation, a Tema-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) engaged in women and children activities, observed at the weekend that when judiciously utilized, youth energy and vitality would have positive influence on their peers.

She said peers could then adopt responsible sexual behaviours to help shape their moral lives.

Mrs. Osafo made the observation at a day's workshop for about 50 students drawn from first and second cycle institutions in the Tema Municipality at the Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church hall in Community Five.

The workshop organised by the NGO with funding from the Ghana AIDS Commission, and dubbed: "Youth Encounter 2005," was aimed at helping participants to find ways and means of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in their various communities.

It had "Youth - working together to prevent HIV/AIDS" as its theme. Mrs Osafo noted that the youth of today were confronted with decisions and choices about their health and sexual behaviours.

She, therefore, reminded them that as future leaders of this country, they should take right decisions that could impact positively on their lives.

Speaking on the topic: "Transmission and Prevention of HIV/AIDS," Mrs Constance Komasi, Community Health Volunteer, advised Ghanaians to guard against transfusion with unscreened and contaminated blood. She advised the workshop participants to avoid unprotected sex in order not to contract the deadly disease.

Miss Lydia Obeng Fori, student at the University of Ghana, reiterated the call on the youth to stick to complete abstinence. Miss Fori urged them to step up education on the disease to help erase the negative perception and erroneous impression in society about HIV/AIDS patients, which had resulted in their being discriminated against.

She said in their current state, AIDS patients needed love, affection and the much needed care to help them live longer.

Mrs Agnes Owusu-Agyemang, staff of Excell Foundation whose topic was: "HIV/AIDS - Our decisions and choices," reminded the youth that their decisions and choices were about life, and therefore advised them to take wise decisions to better their safety.