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24.03.2009 Health

VOLTA TEENAGERS CONTRACT HIV IN DROVES… Medical doctor expresses worry over situation

By Samuel Agbewode, Ho - Ghanaian Chronicle
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The Medical Superintendent at the Volta Regional Hospital, Dr. Geoffrey Nyamuame has expressed worry about the increasing number of young girls contracting the deadly HIV|AIDS disease, and called for pragmatic effort by stakeholders to change the trend.

The Medical doctor said the increasing number of children diagnosed at the Regional Hospital to have contracted HIV was alarming and pointed out that the negative phenomenon should be regarded as a threat to society.

Dr. Nyamuame was speaking at an HIV|AIDS seminar for school children from Barrack and Kaborry schools, all under the administration of the Ghana Armed Forces. It was jointly organized by the Volta HIV|AIDS Control Unit and the 66 Artillery Regiment and supported by the Volta Regional Hospital.

The Medical Superintendent said the high number of children infected with the disease was an indicative of the fact that more children were having sex before reaching the age of eighteen, which is a serious health and economic threat to the country.

Dr. Nyamuame observed that the negative development showed that more young girls were involved in sexual relationship than ever experienced and partly blamed the situation on lack of parental control.

He said if the necessary steps were not taken to reverse the trend, the future of the country would be doomed because the hope of every country was the youth. The Volta Regional HIV|AIDS control Coordinator, Mr. Gregory Amenuvegbe, on his part disclosed that in 2008, 164 children at the age of 14, were diagnosed to have contracted HIV in the region. Out of the figure, 84 were boys and 74 were girls.

Mr. Amenuvegbe continued that a total of 46 youth between the ages of 15 and19 years in the same year contracted the HIV disease. He said 9 out of the number were male while 37 were females noting that in the same period 259 people between the ages of 20 and 24 contracted the disease.

A Medical Officer, at the Volta Regional Hospital, Anthony Ashinyo who took the children through various lessons on how people contract the disease, control measures as well as the effects of the disease in the society stressed the need for parents to take interest in the activities of their children particularly to monitor and discourage them from watching films that would not promote their activities.

The Commanding Officer of the 66 Artillery Regiment, Lt. Col. Emmanuel Kotia said the Regiment has made it a policy to ensure that soldiers and their families were in good health.