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29.11.2005 Health

Wedam Club supports orphans and HIV/AIDS victims

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Navrongo (U/E), Nov. 29, GNA - Wedam AIDS and Orphans Club, a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), working in the Kassena-Nankana and Builsa Districts of the Upper East Region, at the weekend distributed wheat, Soya blend and cooking oil to 122 orphans as a result of HIV/AIDS and persons living with disease at Navrongo.

The NGO also served cooked food while Dr John Williams of the Navrongo Health Research Centre counselled 22 AIDS patients. Speaking to newsmen, Madam Ann Irene Amaburu, Deanery Co-ordinator of Wedam, said the organisation began its programme in 1999, holding monthly feeding and counselling sessions for AIDS victims, with the support of Coesfield, a German organisation and the Roman Catholic Mission.

"Our staff go out into the communities and as they visit homes they identify sick persons suspected to be AIDS victims. We encourage them to visit the hospital and then persuade them to join our club," she explained.

She said Wedam was catering for 100 orphans between one-and-a-half and 18 years old, whose parents were AIDS victims.

Apart from food, clothing and counselling, the organisation also gives HIV/AIDS orphans school uniform, books and medical care and had registered them for the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Madam Amaburu said the organisation had a record of those under its care who it pays regular visit to monitor their conditions. She urged the Kassena-Nankana and Builsa District Assemblies to procure ante-retroviral drugs for AIDS patients in the areas and also appealed to philanthropists and charitable organisations to provide Wedam with a means of transport for its outreach programmes.

Mr Emmanuel Azure, Secretary of the Club, stated that in collaboration with Samaritan, another NGO based in Accra, Wedam would establish HIV/AIDS Clubs in basic schools and provide counselling and vocational training for school dropouts as a result of pregnancy or poverty.