NGO creates awareness of AIDS : Distributes condoms to public
The Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a non-governmental organisation, Cecilia Senoo, has stated that consistent education and sensitisation is the only way to achieve a generation free from HIV infections.
She said people needed to understand that the disease was still around and for that reason, there was the need for them to consistently protect themselves and their partners.
“We cannot really achieve an HIV-free generation if we don’t protect, educate and take good care of ourselves so we need to create awareness of HIV prevention and one way to do that is with condoms”, she said.
Mrs Senoo said that on the sidelines of a sensitisation event held in at the Kaneshie Market Lorry Park in Accra last Thursday.
It was in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population activities and the Ghana AIDS Commission.
Dubbed, “Condom activation campaign”, a booth accompanied by commentary via a public address (PA) system was set up to educate people.
Staff of both parties went round to share condoms for the market people, while educating them on how and why they should use them.
Similarly, they distributed pamphlets that carried key messages on the prevention of HIV, as well as ways to prevent and also educate people on the disease.
There was also an on-site HIV testing for people who wanted to know their status.
Mrs Senoo also disclosed that the event was being used to prepare the whole country towards the World Aids Day, which is on December 1.
“So, we are creating awareness because of late, Ghana is recording very high HIV prevalence especially among young people and that means that we are having unprotected sex, which is the most common way to contract the infection”, she explained.
The executive director also noted that the organisation was partnering with the market women as a means to reach people at the grassroots to ensure the message was heard by all.
“We will be using testimonies of people who have used it to protect themselves while having partners who are HIV positive”, she said.
The Doctor in-charge of the Kaneshie Polyclinic, Dr Stella Gyamfi, said the exercise was important because there had been a surge in the number of new infections, particularly among the youth.
“This exercise is very relevant because this year alone between January and June, there have been over 23,000 new HIV infections in Ghana.
“Greater Accra alone over 4,000 new HIV infections among them, the youth are more,” she noted.
Dr Gyamfi, who doubles as the Okaikoi South Health Director, also said it was particularly important for the youth because they had proven to be the most vulnerable to infections due to their high sexual activeness which was a characteristic of the youth.
“People should be educated more on the benefits of condoms with emphasis on its proper use being demonstrated to increase the uptake of condoms”, she added.