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16.04.2010 Sports News

Project launches 'Fair Play for Africa'

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Accra, April 15, GNA - Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) has launched a special campaign in Ghana aimed at using the 2010 Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and stigmatization of people living with AIDS.

The programme dubbed "Fair Play For Africa- Ghana Campaign" will use the historic 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa to drum home the support for people living with HIV/AIDS through the implementation of the Abuja Declarations which demands 15 per cent of budgetary allocation for the health sector.

It is also to educate Ghanaians on the need to see HIV/AID as an ordinary sickness which can be treated through the effective use of drugs with football as the main tool for the campaign.

ARHR has therefore appointed Accra Hearts of Oak's leading striker, Mahatma Otoo as Ghana's Ambassador for the campaign.

Madam Vicky T. Okine, Executive Director of ARHR, said with 2015 just around the corner, combating HIV/AIDS is one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), hence the need to develop the campaign alongside the 2010 World Cup.

The project, which is being run in other Africa countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Mali, Malawi and South Africa will also use the World Cup to promote the need for people to know their HIV/AIDS status.

She said 2010 is a 'huge year of opportunity' for Ghana and African countries to use the Pan African World Cup to launch the campaign to demand for Fair Play for Africans.

Dr Elias Sory, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS),who launched the campaign, said it is time for people to recognize HIV/AIDS as one of the chronic diseases such as hypertension or sickle cell disease which can be treated and managed with strict adherence to prescribed drugs.

"Interestingly there are several people with chronic diseases in the system but they are not discriminated against. So why should we discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS". Mr Sory asked.

The Director General therefore called on Ghanaians not to discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS but treat them as part of the society, adding that the disease is no respecter of any person.

Dr Sory said that government will accelerate efforts at improving health facilities in the country as part of activities to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by the year 2015.


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