160,000 Children in Ghana Orphaned by HIV/AIDS, Commission Says
Recent data compiled by the Ghana AIDS Commission indicate that about 160,000 children have been orphaned by the disease in the country, Ghana's GNA/My Joy Online reports. According to Damien Punguyire, medical superintendent of the country's Kintampo Hospital, without adequate care, more people will be affected by the pandemic and more children will be orphaned within the next five years.
Punguyire also expressed concern about HIV/AIDS prevalence among young people and those of reproductive age, saying that the situation could negatively affect Ghana's economy and national development. "There is the need for increased education to create more awareness for the people to become cautious about their sexual practices, and that would help minimize spread of the pandemic," Punguyire said. In addition, he urged teachers to educate students about HIV/AIDS prevention methods in an effort to maintain awareness about the epidemic. He also called for an end to stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people to help curb the spread of the virus (GNA/My Joy Online, 3/31).