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NATIONAL :
National House of Chiefs to implement HIV/AIDS response initiative


The National House of Chiefs (NHC) has adopted a plan of action to implement an HIV/AIDS/Health programme as part of its contribution towards reducing the spread of the disease in the country.
    
The programme dubbed “The Traditional Authorities In National HIV/AIDS Initiative”, aimed at building a preventive community health culture as a basis to prevent the spread of the disease.
    
The project, which would be launched on March 11, this year, seeks to integrate all preventable health diseases into one scope, with focus on HIV/AIDS and link the existing health initiatives of individual traditional councils to that of the NHC to ensure an “all-on-board participation as a national response strategy”.
    
Briefing journalists in Kumasi on Friday to throw more light on the project, Odeneho Gyapong Ababio, President of the National House of Chiefs, said a weaning development pool fund, to be known as NHC HIV/AIDS/Health Fund, would also be launched to support the HIV/AIDS/Health programme.
    
He said the Fund would serve as complementary to those that would be established by the various traditional councils to build their capacities to sustain the initiative.
    
Odeneho Gyapong Ababio noted that, the House believes that the chieftaincy institution, which was broad based in the country, was capable of joining other stakeholders in educating the people on the dangers of the disease in order to reduce its spread.
    
He said traditional leaders had offered to play a frontline role in the national HIV/AIDS crusade and appealed to the youth to abstain from pre-marital sex.
    
Odeneho Gyapong Ababio appealed to the private sector, NGOs and development partners to support the initiative.
    
Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, Consultant to the project, said the absence of a common project framework for HIV/AIDS/Health interventions by the NHC had left Regional Houses of Chiefs and traditional councils without any definitive system of implementing, managing and coordinating HIV/AIDS/Health programmes in the country.
    
He said the project signalled a gradual departure of traditional leaders’ development role from the much conceptual system of workshops to a more practical project development and implementation management.

GNA
 [2008-02-01 13:06:57]


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