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07.05.2005 General News

Lesotho official lauds Ghana

By GNA

Cape Coast, May 7, GNA - Mr Keketso Sefeane, Chief Executive of the Lesotho National AIDS Secretariat of the National AIDS Commission on Friday lauded Ghana for adopting a multi-sectoral approach to AIDS prevention and management in the country.

He observed that the situation whereby HIV/AIDS programmes has been incorporated into the government decentralization system is very commendable and when well-managed, could help reduce the prevalence rate of the disease in the country in the near future.

Mr. Sefeane, who held a four-member team to the Central Region made this observation during a courtesy call on the Regional Minister at Cape Coast.

The tour was to understudy and share ideas of how the country had been responding to issues in connection with HIV/AIDS pandemic. He noted that Ghana has been proactive in dealing with the disease by adopting a number of interventions, including the involvement of both governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations and the AIDS Commission's developing partners in its implementation programme. He said some of these issues would be adopted in his outfit on return to Lesotho.

The team, which is on a two-day tour of the country also, held meetings with members of the regional AIDS Committee to have first hand information on how the regional body works.

"Ghana has done a lot of research on the disease and must be commended for its strategic approach in dealing with the pandemic." He added that the team's main objective for the visit was to study and exchange ideas with sister African countries in their quest to finding lasting solution in dealing with the disease. He hinted that even though Lesotho was a small country with a population of only 2.2 million, the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS as at 2004 stood at 30 per cent.

He observed that the rate could not have escalated to that percentage if the country had adopted a more national and multi sectoral approach instead of treating it as a health issue when the first case was reported in 1986.

Mr Isaac Edumadze, Central Regional Minister described as "worrying" the fact that the pandemic is affecting greater percentage of those in the reproductive age

He commended the team for undertaking the trip saying, "it was time for Africans to coordinate activities and find solutions to help project the African personality."

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