From Samuel Duodu,
Ghana Chapter of the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa (SWAA) has organised a day’s workshop for about 40 drinking bar operators, managers, and secretaries of hotels and guest houses in the Nkoranza township to sensitise them to reproductive health issues and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Ms Josephine Agbo, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) focal person of the society, who addressed the participants, stressed the need for participants to promote the use of condoms among their customers them and to help in the campaign against the spread of the disease.
Ms Agbo expressed regret at the increasing rate of HIV/AIDS among the youth in the communities, and said it was rather unfortunate that a number of the youth were dying from the menace.
She said SWAA had targeted women, more especially the illiterates and those in the rural areas, who would not open up and listen to any education, and would also not change from negative practices. She added that the society would also reach out to such women and sensitise them to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS.
She described drinking bars as well as hotels and the guest houses as the “hot spots”, and said volunteers of SWAA were to join hands with the managers of such areas to help in the campaign against HIV/AIDS and the promotion of condom use.
The focal person deplored the practices and attitudes of some people who pointed accusing fingers at people living with HIV/AIDS and, therefore, shun their company, adding that it was wrong to stigmatise the victims since every one was at risk in contracting the disease.
SWAA is to create 38 non-traditional outlets for condom sale in the area by encouraging chop bar operators, hawkers, mobile phone unit transfer operators and market women to promote the use of both male and female condoms among their customers.