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Regional News Sun, 26 Sep 2004

Youth Cautioned against the use of hard drugs

Dawu, Akwapim (ER) Sept. 26, GNA- Dr. Joseph Bediako Asare, Chief Psychiatrist of the Mental Hospital, has cautioned the youth against the use of hard drugs since it could jeopardise their future.

He said the youth should also discard the notion that "marijuana" and other hard substances could help them learn better.

Dr. Asare was speaking over the weekend at the launching of the 26th Anniversary Celebration of the Dawu Youngsters Association at Dawu, Akwapim in the Eastern Region.

The Association, as part of its celebrations has lined up a number of programmes for one month, which include public lectures, presentations to health institutions in the area, awards to distinguished citizens of Dawu and organisation of beauty pageant and dancing competition.

Dr. Asare urged the people to stay away from drinking alcohol and smoking cigarette since the two drugs does not provide anything good to the body.

He said drinking alcohol rather blears a person's vision while the nicotine in the cigarette could affect lungs and as well as cause cancer.

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"One does not gain anything by smoking and drinking but rather a waste of resources," he said.

Dr. Asare advised the youth in the area to avoid peer pressure since they could lead to some of these negative tendencies. He said they should rather take their education seriously so that they could become useful citizens in future. Ms Philomina Ampah, Peer Educator on HIVAIDS and S.T.D's of the Reach Africa, a non-governmental organisation in the Okere area noted that one factor that has contributed to the spread of HIV in Ghana was the stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV/AIDS. This is because they do not receive love and compassion from society

She also said women were the primary victims of HIV/AIDS because of their vulnerability.

She advised the women in the area to seek proper counselling and knowledge about the disease so that they could protect themselves adequately.

Earlier, Dr. Philip Appiah Darko, Senior Medical Officer of the Adukrom Health Centre led a team of medical staff to screen the people in the area free of charge. There was also a procession by the DYA through the principal streets of the town. Sept 26 04

Source: GNA
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