THE Tano South District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Bukari Zakaria Anaba, has observed that stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAS) continue to be a major setback against the prevention of the spread of the disease in the district.
He has, therefore, called on all stakeholders in the campaign against the spread of the disease to step-up their efforts to reduce the level of misconception about the disease, stigma and discrimination to help combat the pandemic in the district.
Mr Anaba made the observation at a two-day orientation workshop for district stakeholders on HIV/AIDS at Bechem in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The workshop was to update stakeholders’ knowledge on current trends in HIV/AIDS infections, sensitise participants on management systems of HIV/AIDS in the district and to develop appropriate strategies to contain the spread of the disease.
Mr Anaba stated that although awareness of HIV/AIDS epidemic was widespread in Ghana, knowledge of how to prevent the disease remained inadequate in majority of men and women in both the urban and rural areas of the country.
He said misconception about the disease contributed to stigma and discrimination which constituted the major challenges for people living with the disease, preventing them from disclosing their status, seek preventive healthcare and lead productive lives.
Mr Anaba, therefore, called for concerted efforts from all, especially, the participants at the workshop, to use the knowledge they had acquired to assist in addressing the HIV/AIDS challenges in the district.
He further urged the participants to educate the youth in the district to abstain from casual sex to avoid being infected since they constituted the future labour force and leaders of the district and the country.
The Tano South District HIV/AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Person, who also addressed the participants, spoke on the topic: “Understanding stigma and discrimination”.
The Medical Superintendent of the Tano South District Government Hospital at Bechem, Dr Kwabena Twum Nuamah, gave a brief lecture on HIV/AIDS, mode of transmission, method of risk reduction, among others.