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Central Region tops syphilis cases in Ghana

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Dr. Yaw Asante Awuku, a Physician Specialist at the Central Regional Hospital at Cape Coast, said the Region has recorded 18.4 per cent syphilis case, being the highest in the country.

He said the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District has being identified as the area with the highest rate for three consecutive years in the Region.

Dr Awuku said persons between 45 and 49 years have been identified as the most affected group in the country, representing 8.2 per cent, while those between 35 to 39 years followed with 7.4 per cent as indicated by the national sentinel report.

He disclosed these in a presentation on “An Overview of HIV/AIDS in Ghana: Current Situation, Projections and Interventions”, in Cape Coast on Thursday.

Dr Awuku said the situation was alarming because about 5.3 per cent of people with Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) were at higher risk of contracting HIV virus, and the Regional Health administration was working to reverse the situation.

Dr. Awuku said 33. 3 million people were infected with HIV across the world with 67 per cent of the number coming from Sub-Saharan Africa alone and 330,000 children out of 370,000 children under 15 years of the total figure were from Africa.

He said HIV/AIDS prevalence in Cape Coast was 2.2 per cent as compared to Agormanya in the Eastern Region with 7.8 per cent, which  is the highest in the country.

Dr. Awuku said the Eastern Region had the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence of 3.2 per cent followed by the Ashanti Region with 3.0 per cent while the Northern Region had recorded the lowest rate of 0.7 per cent.

He said that analysis in 2010 showed a decline in HIV/AIDS prevalence in all the ten regions of the country except the Upper East Region.

Dr Awuku said HIV/AIDS campaign should not be limited to the youth but should also be targeted at the group between 45 and to 50 years.

Dr Awuku said 840,776 females tested HIV/AIDS positive in 2010 whiles 222,308 males tested HIV/AIDS positive nationwide.

He said HIV/AIDS was a threat to national development adding that the current national policy was aimed to eliminate mother-to-child transmission, ensure behavioural change and to promote condom use.

Dr Awuku said that it had been projected that the HIV/AIDS population in Ghana would remain stable by 2015, but there would be a decline in annual deaths among both adults and children while there would be the need to increase the supply of anti-retroviral drugs.

He called on the media to lead the crusade against HIV/AIDS and other STIs.

Source: GNA

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