Tema, May 12, GNA – Reverend Fred Osei Annin, CEO of Actionplus, a health charity, has called for increased awareness on HIV and AIDS, because the seeming silence on the infection does not augur well for the health of the population.
‘HIV is a human issue which has not yet gotten any medical cure to it. It is therefore very important that we increase HIV awareness and activities which promote early testing in our communities to reduce the spread of the infection.’
Speaking at a thanks-giving service to mark the Eighth Anniversary of the Charity at the Sakomono Calvary Temple of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), he said,’ For this reason, Actionplus Foundation Ghana has launched two major programmes this year in the Eastern Region which has the highest HIV prevalence in the country to promote interventions that attract behavioural change.”
The Kwahu Easter Festival HIV/AIDS programme (KEFHAC) will enable us to set up HIV testing centres across the Kwahu area during Easter festivals to increase HIV awareness and testing in that locality.’
He said: ‘The Campus HIV Educational Project (CHEP) is developed to increase the awareness of HIV and sexual health issues among students in the basic, secondary and the higher institutions across the country, starting from Boso Senior High Technical School.’
According to the Reverend Minister, the Boso town is at the heart of the Eastern Region where the prevalent rate of HIV is high and thus the intervention to avoid the outbreak of HIV among students.
‘Our approach in the HIV campaign has attracted many HIV organisations and advocates globally. Our prayer and hope is to see HIV completely eradicated so that we can leave this world an HIV free world for the next generation to enjoy.
‘Our organization has pioneered the delivery of rapid HIV tests in churches and other community settings both in the UK and in Ghana through the ‘Take Action Now’ model, which we developed to encourage early testing.’
He added:’In the United Kingdom, we have delivered rapid HIV testing clinics across London and Luton. Here in Ghana our rapid HIV testing outreach has been delivered in partnership with clinical services. This means that those who test positive can immediately access HIV health support and those who test negative can discuss ways to stay negative.’
‘The Take Action Now Model is internationally recognized, and is growing bigger due to the fact that through it people are testing early to avoid late diagnosis, which is normally dangerous to the health of those who are unaware that they carry the HIV virus.’
According to him, the Take Action Now approach for HIV intervention is growing rapidly because it combats fear and stigma, and enables people to get tested openly.’
The Actionplus Foundation was first founded in 1997 in South London. Within the past 18 years in the UK, the organization has grown across London and Luton.
In 2007, Actionplus Foundation Ghana, was also founded. Actionplus Foundation works at the very heart of the community to promote HIV Health and well-being. This includes running a range of focused actions in the UK and in Ghana.
The LEKMA health directorate in partnership with Actionplus offered free voluntary testing to scores of people after the service.
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