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12.01.2006 Regional News

New Juaben Municipality validates four-year HIV/AIDS plan

By GNA

Koforidua, Jan 12, GNA - A day's workshop for stakeholders on the validation of HIV/AIDS strategic plan from 2006-2010 for the New Juaben Municipality has been held at Koforidua with a call for more attention to be paid to other forms that fuel the spread of the virus. In a presentation of the draft strategic plan at the workshop, the Municipal Planning Officer, Mr Michael Agyeman, said single mother parenting was one of such areas that needed to be looked at to achieve the holistic approach to the control of the virus.

He said empowerment of single mothers would ensure that such mothers would be in the position to provide their wards, especially daughters, with occupational skills for their sustenance. Mr Agyeman mentioned, for instance, that most of the young women living with the disease acquired it due to poverty or economic factors that led them to indulge in lifestyles that made them vulnerable to the virus.

He said under the new strategic plan, which was multi-sector based, utilization of funds for HIV/AIDS activities would be monitored properly to ensure that proper disbursement was made for the achievement of the purpose.

Nana Adjei Boateng, the New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, said despite intervention by organizations at reducing the spread of the virus, the prevalence rate in the area was still higher than the national average of 3.1 per cent.

He said that called for more efforts to convince the people to adopt responsible behaviours to stay clear of the disease and commended civil society for their efforts that had succeeded in creating more awareness about the HIV/AIDS in the area.

Nana Boateng said all proposals seeking funding under the new plan, codenamed "multi-sector HIV/AIDS Programme"(MSHAP), would be submitted to the assembly to be vetted and approved by the District AIDS Committee (DAC).

He explained that unlike the GARFUND, where proposals for funding were approved by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), the MSHAP had been introduced to deepen the decentralization process of the GAC to implement and co-ordinate projects.

Nana Boateng said all proposals to be supported by the GAC after approval of the assemblies would be required to fall within the seven thematic areas and Programme of Action to be published later by GAC. The thematic areas to be implemented under the 2006/2010 strategic planning include policy, advocacy and enabling environment, co-ordination and management of decentralized response, prevention and behaviour change communication.

The rest include treatment, care and support, research, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation and mobilization of resources and funding arrangements.

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