Legon students embark on sex education tour of Wa Muncipality

Final year students pursuing a course in Theatre for Development at the School for Performing Arts of the University of Ghana Legon are embarking on a three-day HIV/AIDS awareness and sex education tour of the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region.

The tour which begun on Wednesday is in partial fulfillment of requirements of the course and it is being undertaken with support from the regional directorate of the Technical Support Unit (TSU) of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC).

In all 35 students and two of their lecturers are taking part in the exercise which will take them to a number of institutions including second cycle schools in the municipality.

Activities lined up for the three-day outreach programme include, screening of a film dubbed “Documentary on wheels” and open forum, radio discussions, staging of drama and distribution of brochures to students.

The group will also engage selected community members in an open discussion on the subject of HIV and sex education as well as health screening and the distribution of condoms among other things.

Speaking at a media briefing here, the Project Manager for the group, Mr Daniel Narh Adjei said their course was an interdisciplinary programme which required that students partnered Ministries, Departments and Agencies with mandates in their chosen field to undertake a practice field trip.

He said the group decided to partner the TSU of the GAC due to the number of challenges that confronted the country’s quest to eradicate the HIV menace from amongst the people.

Mr Adjei said even though the HIV prevalence among the general population was generally low, it also varied from one region to the other and within communities, adding that “despite the good efforts of the Ghana AIDS Commission and her partners in the national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic there remain major challenges.”

He noted that for instance comprehensive knowledge about HIV was low among the general population in the country, decreasing from 25 per cent to 18 per cent among women and 33 per cent to 30 per cent among men from 2008 to 2014 respectively.

Similarly, condom use as last sexual act among men aged 15-49 who had two or more partners decreased from 26 per cent in 2008 to 19 per cent in 2014 with only 11per cent using condom during their last encounter.

However, 92 per cent of female sex workers used a condom during their recent sexual intercourse with a paying client adding that “Consequently, 72.3 per cent of new HIV infections are occurring among the general population. According to the 2016 HIV Sentinel Survey, HIV prevalence has increased from 1.3per cent in 2014 to 2.5per cent in 2016 in the Upper West Region.

This data according to him pointed to the fact that, there was the need for increased collective efforts to halt the trend in the region.

Mr Adjei said it was in that regard that AIDS Awareness and Sex Education Plus in Wa was conceived to partner with the GAC TSU in the region to undertake the three day programme of activities to sensitise the people of the region.

He said it was envisioned that the project would accelerate the collective national campaign to get to 90 per cent of the people living with HIV to test to know their HIV status in line with the UNAIDS global 90-90-90 fast track target.

 

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