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16.12.2005 Health

Pregnant women urged to undergo voluntary HIV test

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Asankare (Ash), Dec 16, GNA - A medical doctor has appealed to pregnant women to undergo voluntary HIV testing to prevent the transmission of the virus from mother to baby during pregnancy. Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe, the Asante-Akim South District Director of Health Services, said in a speech read for him at a durbar at Asankare in commemoration of World AIDS Day that the rate at which pregnant women were infecting their unborn babies was on the ascendancy. Speaking on the theme, "Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise", Dr Lord Justice Gyamfi-Fenteng, the District Chief Executive, said HIV/AIDS was spreading at a fast rate, necessitating a global fight against it. He said the pandemic had become prevalent in rural areas since majority of the country's population were located in such areas. He said in order to bring the situation to its barest minimum, a District Response Initiative Management Team (DRIMT) comprising decentralized departments within the district had been instituted to implement effective measures to combat the menace.

Mr W.A. Kwakye, the District Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Person on HIV/AIDS, said there were 25 Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) assisting the fight against the disease in the district. He said from the beginning of next year, CBOs would no more receive funds directly from the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) but through the district assembly under the Multi-Sectoral HIV/AIDS Programme (MSHAP), a new HIV/AIDS control programme.

He urged communities without CBOs to consider forming one to contribute their quota towards the fight against the pandemic.