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03.09.2005 Health

CEPS re-launches AIDS awareness programme in Sunyani

GNA

Sunyani (B/A), Sept. 3, GNA - Mrs Grace Yeboah-Asiamah, Senior Public Health Nursing Officer at the Sunyani Regional Hospital, on Friday observed that the time had come for governmental directions to check dressings among the youth as well as some sex programmes shown on the nation's television stations.

In her view, the measures, if taken would go a long way to check the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country.

Mrs Yeboah-Asiamah was addressing the re-launch of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) HIV/AIDS Programme at Sunyani. Seventy-two participants comprising representatives from the Liberation Barracks, Brong-Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), students from some second-cycle institutions and the staff of CEPS drawn from all the border stations in the Region attended the programme.

It was on the theme: "We Are All At Risk".

Mrs Yeboah-Asiamah said despite the fact that enough awareness education on the cause and prevention of the HIV/AIDS disease since the pandemic became known in Ghana in 1986 had been done by peer educators, yet increasing figures of the spread of the pandemic in some parts of the country through statistic surveys continued to be alarming and discouraging.

Mrs Yeboah-Asiamah said of late almost "every entertaining social activity in the country leads to sex".

It was on the score of this alarming and discouraging increasing figures relating to the spread of the disease that she held the belief that an institution of national dress code for the youth, prevention of screening of pornographic films on our Televisions and music that could discourage promiscuity in the country could redress the issue.

On the much-talk-about criticism in the country pertaining to the need or otherwise of couples to honour voluntary AID Test before eventually translating their marriage intentions under any of Marriage Ordnances in the country, Mrs. Yeboah-Asiamah associated herself with the need for the Aid Test for couples, saying the exercise should be seen as being in the interest of the two parties.

In a welcoming address Nii Adjei Adjarnor, Team Manager of CEPS HIV Project announced that the project, started in 2001 aimed at creating awareness and sensitize officers on the dangers of the pandemic was operated with assistance from the Family Health International (FHI) and US AID.

Nii Adjarnor said in 2003 the financial support by the two financial institutions (FHI and US AID) came to an end and the decision nearly brought the CEPS HIV/AIDS project to a halt but for the swift intervention by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), which took over the funding of the project, stressing that the re-launching of the project this year was a matter of course.

Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Impraim, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Assistant Commissioner or Chief Collector (General Duties), who chaired the workshop, announced that the directorate would make it possible to organize similar workshops at the various border stations in the region to cover all staff.

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