Kumasi, Jan 22, GNA - Madam Patricia Appiagyei, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, has said that the assembly was currently drawing up a five-year strategic plan to combat HIV/AIDS in the metropolis.
She indicated that care and support will constitute the most important thematic area in the plan and that steps will be taken to build the capabilities of beneficiaries in income-generating activities so that they can always have money to meet some of their basic needs. This was contained in an address read on her behalf by Mrs Emelia Botchway, Deputy Director of Administration of the assembly at a get-together organized by the assembly. She said the Assebly has secured some funding from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to train people from each association in Income Generating Activities (IGA's), stressing that the skills training programme was to start in a few weeks time. The MCE pointed out that other areas that the plan will focus on will be in sustained and effective behavioural change communication that will motivate the public to change their attitudes and behaviours in positive ways, create a demand for information and services regarding HIV/AIDS and spur action for reducing risk, vulnerability, stigma and discrimination.
Voluntary counselling and testing, abstinence and faithfulness to partner will also be vigorously promoted under the plan, she added. Madam Appiagyei said the media has a continued crucial role to play in the fight against HIV/AIDS, especially in behavioural change communication and the reduction of stigma and discrimination against Peoples Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the society.
She appealed to religious organizations and the society at large to try to be less judgemental and remember that they also have a role to play in the fight against the disease.
Alhaji Salia Alhassan, a pharmacist at the HIV/AIDS clinic of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, called for the regular supply of the anti-retroviral drugs from the National AIDS Control Programme so that the hospital could serve the clients better. He advised that health professionals and trained peer educators of HIV/AIDS be supported to visit AIDS patients at home on regular basis to counsel them on the adherence to drug and nutritional prescriptions and sanitation practices.
Dr Joseph Oduro, the Kumasi Metropolitan Director of Health Service, advised the HIV/AIDS clients to be cautious of their lives and desist from deliberate intentions to infect others with the virus. Jan. 22 06