By: Krobea Asante Enoch
The Compassion International, an NGO operating in the Yilo Krobo municipality of Eastern region on December 1st, 2017 marked the World Aids Day under the theme, know your status, and seek early treatment.
Speaking to the Director in charge, Mr. Jonas Appiah Kubi, he explained even though the day coincided with farmers day, it was important that, it collaborated with the regional health directorate and Ghana Aids Commission to observe the day due to the lack of motivation on the part of many to establish their HIV/AIDS status.
The NGO which currently was working with the St. Mary Anglican church in Obawale, Klo Agogo Apostolic, Nsutapong Anglican and Ahenkorah Apostolic church in the early hours of the morning paraded in the principal streets of Klo – Agogo community with a brass band.
Reverend Father John Tei Botchway, Chaplain for the Koforidua Regional Hospital chaired the occasion. In his address he revealed that, a chaste life was important for the health safety of individuals, he advised both men and women who are married to be faithful to each other and avoid multiple sex partners as such is immorality before God.
Assembly member for Klo – Agogo, honorable Harold Kumah on his part bemoaned lack of parental care and neglect especially on the part of females was a major contributory factor to the increasing rates in of HIV/AIDS in the country.
He expressed his pleasure for the collaboration between Compassion International and the Ghana Aids Commission having rekindled the awareness and existence of the disease in the area.
The Assembly member advised that, people check to know their status of the disease so early treatment can be obtained from health professionals at the Poly Clinic which provides support to all who are affected.
Various ways by which the virus is transmitted was identified including unprotected sex, use of infested sharp materials like razor blades, share of tooth brushes, tattooing amongst others.
Students performed a drama to demonstrate the need for abstinence and resisting peer pressures from friends that lead to sexual promiscuity.
The Headmaster of Klo -Agogo Anglican Basic School, Mr. Joe Dunu said, HIV/AIDS has no cure and therefore require that children are directed to live up to expectations to fulfil their dreams.
He thanked Compassion International and the regional health directorate for the education, but pleaded that, education and awareness are constantly in force.
He said, he was hopeful that the drama, speeches and all demonstrations by the team will help children to make the right choices and decision in life.
In a summary of the 2016 HIV sentinel survey report by the Ghana Aids Commission, the national prevalence amongst pregnant women attending antenatal clinic stood at 2.4%.
Prevalence amongst the young population (15-24 years) and a proxy for new infections remained unchanged at 1.1%.
HIV/AIDS prevalence by age group 45 -49 is highest at 5.6%, followed by 35-39 at 3.5% with 15-19 being the lowest at 0.6%.
The Regional HIV prevalence ranged from 2.7% in the Volta and Brong -Ahafo regions as the regions with the highest prevalence to 0.7% in northern the lowest
Site HIV prevalence ranged from 0.4% in Nalerigu to 4.2% in Agormanya and Sunyani.
The highest prevalence ranged within the urban sites was 4.2% in Agormanya and Sunyani followed by Wa 3.7%.
Rural prevalence in 2016 ranged from 0.5% in Builsa, Kintampo and Salaga to 3.3% in Fanteakwa.
In a closing remark, Mr. Jonas Appiah Kubi, Director of Compassion International in Klo – Agogo thanked participants of the walk, and admonished the humble presentations by the health directorate of Koforidua, Reverend Father John Tei Botchway, Klo – Agogo Polyclinic health and Assembly member for their immense contributions and time.