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08.09.2005 Health

Ghana AIDS Commission supports AIDS prevention

GNA

Yendi (N/R), Sept. 8, GNA - The Ghana AIDS Commission has disbursed 64 million cedis to selected communities in the Yendi Distict of the Northern Region and organisations to carry out campaign messages on the prevention of the disease.

The campaign is to encourage the people to live responsible lives to avoid being infected with the disease so that the resources invested to treat victims of the disease could be used for development. Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, the Yendi District Chief Executive announced the Commission's financial support at a one-day sensitisation workshop on HIV/AIDS prevention.

The Rapid Response Aid, an NGO, organised the forum for 60 members of the District Assembly at Yendi on Tuesday. Alhaji Tijani said if care were not taken, the disease would have a devastating impact on the youth, who were the future leaders of the country.

He, therefore, urged organizations involved in the campaign against the disease to intensify their efforts.

Mr Brimah Azazi Damba, Executive Director of Rapid Response Aid, said the one per cent allocation from the District Assemblies' Common Fund for HIV/AIDS activities at the district level, was inadequate to carry out campaign messages in the rural areas.

He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to give the needed resources to the assemblies and the organisations to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Mr Jacob Dinbiok Konlaa Yendi District Focal Person on HIV/AIDS said a survey on HIV/AIDS conducted in the Yendi District last year, showed that over 30 per cent of girls in the area had their first sexual experience before they were 18 years old.

He said this was not good enough because sex at an early age was often casual and irresponsible, adding that, the youth, who engaged in it were at risk of being infected with HIV/AIDS.

Mr Konlaa announced that last year, the Yendi District Government Hospital recorded 101 cases of the disease.

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