Monica Sadungu, a Public Health Nurse at Zebilla in the Bawku West District, says Ghana is not yet free from the Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) and needs intensive education in the media to remind people to take precautionary measures.
She said the country was not out of the woods and emphasised the need for the citizenry to be mindful of the existence of the virus, even though television and radio education on the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) had declined as compared to previous years.
“HIV and AIDS are real and still with us. Because there is no public education on television and radio, unlike those days, it does not mean we are free. Let’s not think that it is all over,” she said.
Madam Sadungu said this in a side-line interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at a mentorship programme on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at Kobore, a community in the Bawku West District.
The five-day programme was organised at the instance of the Haven of Love Children’s Foundation, a Non-Governmental Christian Organization operating in the area.
The programme, which was organised on separate days in different communities across the district, mentored about 5000 pupils from basic schools on STEM and trained their parents and guardians on various income-generating skills.
Madam Sadungu, who is also a Principal Midwifery Officer, admonished the youth, especially students and pupils in basic and Senior High Schools, to abstain from sex, and concentrate on their studies to become responsible leaders in the future.
“I have observed that when pupils complete Junior High School in this District, they feel they have attained higher heights in education, and begin to indulge in sexual acts. Some of them often attend music jams at late hours.
“It is through such programmes that they indulge in unprotected sexual acts with very high risks of contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), unwanted teenage pregnancies and child marriages,” she said.
The Public Health Nurse admonished parents and guardians to take a keen interest in the care of their children, especially their adolescent girls and boys, “They should not leave the care of their children with teachers alone, but also complement the efforts of teachers to groom their children.”
Samuel Nana Bekai Djirackor, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Foundation, told the GNA that apart from the mentorship on STEM, the pupils were educated on career guidance, sex education and the effects of early marriage, among others.
He said the Foundation did not advocate faithful use of condoms, “We only preach abstinence because that is our core value as a Foundation. As a Christian-centred organisation, we preach love, Christ, and abstinence.
“The world would be a much better place if everyone abstains. If you abstain, you will not have STDs, so abstinence is the key, and through God who gives self-control, we can abstain,” the Founder said.