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01.09.2005 Health

Tema Harbour workers warned against AIDS

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Accra, Sept. 1, GNA - Mr Kwabena Owusu Afriyie, General Secretary of Maritime and Dockworkers Union (MDU), has warned members of the union against patronising the thriving commercial sex trade around Tema Harbour to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS.

Recent Media reports indicated that there was a booming sex trade around the Harbour, where long distance drivers from neighbouring countries were seen having sex under their trucks with commercial sex workers.

He said workers needed to support their union in the fight against HIV/AIDS to ensure longevity of their lives and to increase productivity.

Mr Owusu Afriyie was addressing 35 HIV/AIDS Peer Educators at the opening of a two -day training workshop in Tema.

He said the MDU as a transport union had a key role to play in the fight against HIV/AIDS as they plied along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor, which was reputed to have a high HIV prevalence rate. He said there was the need for organised Labour to position itself to meet the challenges arising out of the spread of HIV/AIDS infection among workers.

Mr Owusu-Afriyie asked the peer educators to work hard on the sensitisation work as well as to educate workers against stigmatisation of People Living with HIV/AIDS.

The Peer Educators were drawn from Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Stevedore Companies, Shipping Companies and causal Dockers of Ghana Dock Labour Company (GDLC).

Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Chief Administrative Officer of MDU and the Coordinator for the MDU-HIV/AIDS Project, said it was important to increase awareness on HIV/AIDS among Maritime Employees in the country's Ports and Harbours as well as protect the rights of workers living with HIV/AIDS.

He advised health professionals to manage information relating to the HIV/AIDS status of workers to protect their rights. Ghana AIDS Commission supported the project.

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