Some of the students at Mfantseman Girls SHS. Inset: Madam Tibiru
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH has shown that about 33 million people have died worldwide from AIDS since its discovery, while 25.3 million died in South Saharan Africa.
Research also shows that 36.1 million people were infected with the deadly disease by the end of 2000.
This was disclosed Friday by Disease Control Officer of Mfantseman in the Central region, Helena Tibiru during an HIV/AIDS educational programme organized by Compassion International Ghana, an NGO, for 50 peer educators of Mfantseman Girls Senior High School at Saltpond.
The workshop was to impart requisite knowledge to participants to enable them educate their colleagues and families on the need to avoid discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS.
Madam Tibiru advised people living with the disease to take their medication regularly instead of resorting to prayer camps for healing.
“HIV/AIDS is like any other disease so it is better you take your medication as expected,” she added.
She advised the students to go for voluntary counseling and testing to know their HIV/AIDS status. “Abstain from pre-marital sex to avoid contracting the disease,” she added.
“HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country has been declining over the years,” she said attributing it to voluntary testing and counseling.
A representative from Compassion International, Dominic Arthur Morrison said the NGO aims to save children from poverty and encourage care givers and their children to go for voluntary testing to receive the needed support.
He revealed that 4,520 children have been sponsored by Compassion International in diverse ways.
Mr. Morrison explained that children grasp things early and fast, adding that it was in this light that his outfit is using students to reach out to the entire Ghanaian populace about HIV/AIDS education.
From Sarah Owusu-Darlington, Saltpond