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Regional News Wed, 31 Dec 2003

Food prepared by AIDS patient is safe - Focal Person

Mumford (C/R), Dec 31, GNA - Food prepared by a person with HIV/AIDS is safe for consumption, Mr Eric Akobeng, Gomoa District HIV/AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Person, has said.

"Food prepared by an AIDS patient is as safe as one prepared by any other person," he added and called on Ghanaians to erase their minds of the misconception that one could contract the disease through that way. He pointed out that the disease could only be contracted through sexual intercourse and blood contact and appealed to Ghanaians to patronise the business of people living with HIV/AIDS to make them feel part of the society.

Mr Akobeng who was inaugurating the Mumford Anti-HIV/AIDS Youth Club at Mumford in the Central Region, on Tuesday said such misconceptions contributed to the discrimination and stigmatisation of people living with disease.

The District Agriculture Directorate sponsored the 50-member Club with funds provided by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA). Mr Akobeng, who is also the District Budget Analyst called on HIV/AIDS campaigners not to be discouraged about the poor response to their efforts to ensure behavioural change but to intensify their education since acquired habits were difficult to change.

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Mr Francis Kwaku Nutakor, District Director of Agriculture, said the MOFA had embarked on a special programme on pilot basis in 10 districts nation-wide to train organised youth groups from communities and provided with logistics to embark on HIV/AIDS outreach programmes. He explained that the Ministry initiated the programme because of the need for healthy people to contribute towards ensuring food security and to sustain the economy.

Mr Nutakor called for the involvement of all sectors of the economy in the efforts to curb the spread of the disease.

Mr Emmanuel Kwaitoo, Central Regional MOFA HIV/AIDS Focal Person, commended Mrs Juliana Dennis, Director of Women in Agriculture Development of the Ministry, for initiating the project.

Mr Kweku Tackie-Otoo, Chairman of the Club, gave the assurance that members would do their best to make the campaign effective. Nana Edwey X, Chief of Mumford, who was the Chairman for the function called on the people to stick to their known partners as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the disease.

Source: GNA
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