General News Mon, 26 Jan 2004

Give more attention to the youth in anti-AIDS campaign - Campaigner

Koforidua, Jan. 26, GNA - An Anti HIV-AIDS campaigner, Mr Kwame Gyimah Akwafo, has called on organizations championing the cause of AIDS-free society to give maximum attention to children and young people who were contracting the disease at higher rate than the older generation.

"The case of young people and children who are being orphaned by the pandemic is so critical that it needs to be given the maximum attention in the crusade against the menace" he stressed.

Mr Gyimah Akwafo, who is the director of COCOAIDS, a co-ordinating committee set up to combat HIV-AIDS in the country, was speaking at a day's workshop for members of the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) and its coalition members at Koforidua on Monday to brainstorm on the way forward for the organization on the pandemic.

He said in analysing the staggering statistics of the prevalence rate of the disease in the country, it was alarming to note that at every minute, five young people contract the virus, and appealed to the youth to change their sexual attitude, which had been identified as the major factor in the spread of the disease.

The COCOAIDS, a co-ordinating committee to combat HIV/AIDS in Ghana is a coalition made up of six youth-focused organizations being sponsored by the USAIDS and UNAIDS. It comprised the YMCA, the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) and the Ghana Scouts Association (GSA).

Others include the Ghana Girl Guides Association (GGGA), Ghana Red Cross Society (GRS) and the Head of State Award Scheme (HOSA). According to the director, COCOAIDS was currently operating in four other African countries namely, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia to consult among the collaborating organizations on the appropriate strategies to impact positively on the youth.


The Programmes Officer of the YMCA, Mr Yasser Addae, attributed the spread of the pandemic to indiscipline on the part of the youth as far as their sexual lives were concerned.

He, therefore, advised young people to be focused in the pursuance of their life ambitions and not to be derailed in their purpose for life, adding that "knowing that you would die because you were HIV positive is a torture that destroys all ambitions, no matter where you are on the ladder of life".

SDA Church spans River Birim.

Akim Asamama (E/R), Jan. 26, GNA The members of the SDA Church at Akim Asamama in the East Akim District, have construct a new bridge to span the River Birim at a cost of 1.5 million cedis.

The project officer of the church, Mr. John Boafo, told the GNA that the damaged bridge affected the economic activities of the farming communities such that, they could not send their foodstuffs to the marketing centres.

The communities involved are Abrenya, Asunafo, Bebome and Tweeta. A farmer from Abrenya, Opanyin Kwame Antwi, said life became hard for them because most farmers could not make ends meet as a result of the collapsed bridge, adding that, their wards could not attend school and other social activities could not come on. In another development, the Church undertook a two-hour clean-up exercise at Akim Asamama to improve sanitation in the community.

Source: GNA