CCFC tackles AIDS in Northern Region
2009-10-15 18:56:26This article has been read 734 times.The Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), an international child-centred development organization, is one of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Northern region that has carved a niche for itself in its human-centered development approach.
It has come to be identified as an organization that is committed to providing unrelenting support to numerous schools, children, health centres, women and communities at large.
The organization has many success stories to tell when it comes to education, health, gender empowerment, social welfare and community livelihood programmes.
For instance, it has supported the fight against malaria, helped in deworming of children, provided rainwater harvesting tanks and boreholes for schools and communities and also supported skills development initiatives, especially for women.
As if not enough, the CCFC has recently, spread it s wings to cover the area of HIV AIDS, in its desire to improve the health status of people the health status of people residing in its operation area.
Consequently the organization has introduced a new programme to help curb the spread of HIV AIDS in seven districts in the Northern region.
The programme, which would span 2009 to 2011, sought to enhance the knowledge of people at the grassroots about the HIV AIDS pandemic and engender responsible attitudes.
It will specially seek to meet certain targeted outcomes such as the reduction of percentage of adolescents who opted for sex before the age of 15 by 14 per cent an to increase the proportion of men and women aged between 15 and 49 who have adopted the use of condom during higher risk sex by 28 per cent.
In addition, the NGO will seek to reduce the proportion of men and women aged between 15 and 49 who have had sex with more than one partner in the past 12 months, by 14 per cent.
The implement districts are Gushiegu, Tolon-Kumbungu, Karaga, East Mamprusi, West Mamprusi, East Gonja and Bunkprugu-Yunyoo.
The CCFC estimated that by the end of the programme, about 17,000 children both in and out of school and also 150 youth and adults in the implementating communities would have benefited from various aspects of the programme.
The NGO will also distribute 200,000 condoms including some female ones and at least 3,000 persons would have undergone counseling and testing.
The Ghana AIDS Commission is the main funding partner for the programme since it falls in line with the objectives of the commission’s Multi-Sector HIV AIDS Programme (MSHARP) being implemented under the National Strategic Framework II.
While the commission will provide GH¢80,000, the CCFC’s partners will contribute GH¢4,000 towards the implementation of the programme.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, the medical superintendent of the Tamale Central Hospital, Dr. Patrick Bampoe, said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) had realized that taking Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) services to the door steps of people was the surest way of encouraging them to undergo testing.
“Many people do not feel comfortable having to visit the hospital to undertake VCT services due to the stigma attached to the disease:, he stated.
Dr. Bampoe, who is also the Focal Person on HIV AIDS for the Northern Regional Directorate of the GHS, said in the first half of this year, 22,000 people in the Northern Region were tested through the community outreach programmes undertaken by the GHS.
He said due to increasing importance of VCT to the fight against AIDS, the number of VCT centres in the region had been increased from one to 12.
Dr. Bampoe stated that another area that needed to be given attention if the fight against AIDS was succeed, was the prevention of mother to child transmission of the virus.
He stated that one effective method of preventing mother to child transmission of AIDS was given adequate medication to pregnant women living with the disease since that had been proven to reduce the risk of the unborn child from 40 per cent to only two per cent.
The country Director of the CCFC, Sanatu Nantogma stated that to ensure the successful implementation of the programme, her outfit would work with other local partners in the various districts to roll out the programme.
The partners are the Tuma Kavi Development Association, Presbyterian Farmers’ Training Programme, Ghana Baptist Child Development Convention and Assemblies of God Relief and Development Services (AGREDS).
The rest are Markaz Al Bishara, Ghacoe Women’s Ministry and Catholic Family Reproductive Health.
Mrs. Nantogma said since the inception CCFC almost 50 years ago, the organization had “led the fight against poverty, child by child, family by family, community by community”.
“Between now and 2012, CCFC hopes to offer more support to children who are disadvantaged, create more employment opportunities as well as an enabling environment for communities to be at the forefront of the execution of development projects in their domain”, she pledged.
One can only hope that the project succeeds to serve as the justification for subsequent intervention.