Spiritual camps owners trained to identify HIV symptoms in their followers

The Family Health International, an international NGO, in collaboration with the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital Voluntary HIV Counselling and Testing Centre, has trained owners of spiritual camps across the Western Region to identify HIV symptoms.

The training had yielded positive results as more STI and HIV patients are being referred by those spiritual camps to health facilities in the region.

Dr Ronald Sowa, who is the Western Regional Coordinator for Sexually Transmitted Infections, said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital on Monday.

He said in a country where most people attribute superstition to every ailment, the NGO felt the need to partner the Hospital to educate and train operators of spiritual camps to refer patients to health facilities for proper medication.

Dr Sowa said although the prevalence rate of HIV cases had reduced over the years there was the need to continue the sensitization effort because the risk factors are still available.

The Regional Coordinator said the influx of migrants into the region due to the exploration of oil and gas, small scale miners and haulage truck drivers were all classified as high risk persons capable of transmitting the disease.

He said the prevalence rate in the region stood at 1.9 percent according 2011 figures and urged all stakeholders not be complacent in the education drive. GNA

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