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Regional News Wed, 31 Dec 2003

NGOs and CBOs fail the nation in HIV/AIDS campaign- Chief

Mankessim (C/R), Dec. 31, GNA- A chief has called on the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) to take a second look at channelling the Ghana AIDS Response Fund (GARFund) through Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for education campaign about the pandemic.

Nana Nketiah Afful, Abontsidomhene of Abeadze Traditional Area said records from health institutions have indicated that the disease was rather spreading fast, and this proved that the CBOs and the NGOs have not effectively carried out the campaign.

Nana Afful who was the 2002 national best citrus farmer was interacting with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Mankessim on Tuesday. He said HIV/AIDS has gone beyond management of volunteers, stressing: "We needed full-time people on salaries in the communities to handle the issue."

The chief suggested that the funds for CBOs and NGOs should be used to train about two or three people in each community, provide them with offices, put them on salaries and task them to embark on house to house campaign.

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The District HIV/AIDS Focal Persons should also be full-time workers and they should be given the needed logistics to enhance monitoring and evaluation of field workers.

Nana Afful said chiefs should be made the watchdogs of the activities of the trained personnel in their communities. "It seems we are joking with a disease which is threatening the survival of mankind by entrusting the campaign against its spread in the hands of organisations whose activities never went beyond training of volunteers," the chief said.

Nana Afful said the spirit of voluntarism was fast dying in the country, adding "We should not expect volunteers to handle such an important issue like HIV/AIDS campaign effectively." He called for more pragmatic approach to the issue to save the people from perishing.

Source: GNA
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