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21.02.2006 Health

CNC organizes durbar of chiefs on HIV/AIDS

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Mabang (Ash), Feb 21, GNA - A durbar of chiefs was organized at Mabang in the Ahafo-Ano North district last Friday to use culture as a means of creating awareness on behavioural change of people's perception about HIV/AIDS. It was organised under the auspices of the Centre for National Culture (CNC).

Through choral music and dance, drama and poetry, the centre potrayed how HIV/AIDS is contracted, its negative effect on socio-economic activities of the people and the need for positive behavioural change. In his welcoming address, Mr Matthew Akowuah, the District Cultural Officer, said in spite of the huge sums of money and other resources being used by the government on sensitisation programme on the dreadful disease, people's attitude to the disease have not seen any significant change.

That was why, he said the centre decided to use drama to drum home

the message on HIV/AIDS to the chiefs. Speaking on behalf of the Director of the Centre for National Culture, Mr Opoku-Mensah Sarfo, the Deputy Director of the centre in-charge of programmes, said Ghanaians cherish their culture and believe that the use of music, dance, drama and poetry will be effective channel of communication to mitigate behavioural change of people's perception about HIV/AIDS. Nana Agyemang Prempeh, the District Chief Executive, said AIDS is real and advised people not to attribute its infection to spiritual powers, adding that people get HIV/AIDS in most cases through their own deeds and misdeeds. He said for the past four years, awareness creation on the disease has been intensified with the support of the Ghana AIDS Commission regretting that, just as the district begin to have positive results, the situation changes to frightening rate. The DCE appealed to parents to be role models, be faithful to their partners and distance themselves from immoral behaviour so that they can have the moral courage to reprimand others, especially their children who may be seen heading to destruction.

Nana Darko Montwi II, Omanhene of Mabang traditional area, who chaired the function, appealed to Ghanaians to avail themselves to Voluntary Counselling Test (VCT) to know their HIV/AIDS status so that those who may have the virus will know what to do to improve their health conditions and those who may have negative results will know how to protect themselves from contracting it.