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11.10.2005 Regional News

US based NGO to help intensify support with PLWHA

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Cape Coast, Oct. 11, GNA - A six-member team from 'Safe Haven Project Incorporated, an NGO based in the United States, committed to the campaign against HIV/AIDS.

The team will be spending six days in the Central Region to help intensify the campaign against the disease, with focus on the need to show compassion to people living with the disease. Led by its leader, Mr David Butler, will carry out the campaign in collaboration with 'Live and Let Live Foundation' an NGO based at Bawjiase in the region.

With leaders of communities in Cape Coast, including the seven Asafo companies, the team met on Tuesday, during which Reverend Edward Burks, a member of the team, who has been living with the disease for 23 years, shared his experience with them. Rev. Burks said stigmatisation of persons living with the disease, was initially a problem in his country, but people have come to accept the victims of the disease and were supporting them. The team is also scheduled to visit other communities and schools in the region, such as the Assin Manso, Swedru, Mfantsiman and Holy Child secondary schools, and Elmina.

Earlier, during a courtesy call on the Deputy Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr Ben Asomani at the Regional Co-ordinating Council, Mr Ishmael Ogyefo, Regional Focal Person of HIV/AIDS briefed the team on the HIV/AIDS situation in the region. He said the region was making progress in the fight against the disease and that although the prevalence rate shot up from 2.6 in 2000 to 7.6 in 2003, the current rate was 4.0, and was hopeful it would reduce further, if the people adopted positive behavioural attitudes. Mr Ogyefo said currently, the RCC was coordinating the activities of 53 NGOs and 188 CBOs that were actively involved in the fight against the disease.

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