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15.09.2005 Health

Deputy Minister calls for a strategic plan to deal with HIV/AIDS menace

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Koforidua, Sept.15, GNA - Ms Susana Mensah, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, on Wednesday called for a more realistic strategic plan to deal with the high incidence of the HIV/AIDS menace in the region. She appealed to religious leaders, chiefs and opinion leaders in the communities to play a leading role to educate the people on the effects of the disease to socio-economic development and efforts to reduce its incidence in the country.

Ms Mensah made the call when addressing participants attending a day's workshop organized for stakeholders to review the draft Eastern Regional HIV/AIDS Strategic Framework for 2006- 2010 at Koforidua. Ms Golda Asante, Eastern Regional HIV/AIDS Focal Person, said due to stigmatisation most People Living With the HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) did not disclose their HIV/AIDS status and such development was causing the spread of the disease.

She explained that stigmatisation might cause the PLWHA's to be ostracized or abandoned and the fear of such development made them not to seek Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) or medical attention. Ms Asante said some of the weaknesses in HIV/AIDS response in the region included lack of effective collaboration, networking and weak co-ordination of HIV/AIDS programmes.

Mr Kofi Abinah, Eastern Regional Population Officer, said the strategic plan was to prevent spreading of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region and also mitigate the socio-economic impact of the disease on PLWHA and other venerable groups in the region.

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