Atuabo Freeport Ghana Limited, (AFP) and UNAIDS have signed a five year agreement for UNAIDS to carry out AFP’s HIV/AIDS awareness programme.
This agreement aims at eliminating HIV/AIDS in the country by 2030.
According to UNAIDS, Ghanaians especially those in the rural areas don’t like using condoms, some don’t want to know their HIV status and others also live a lifestyle which leads them to having multiple sex partners. In view of this, there is the need to raise awareness.
Atuabo Freeport recognizes that fishing communities may be highly vulnerable to HIV infection due to various factors. These may include the mobility of many fisher folk and the time fishermen and female traders spend away from home. The HIV/AIDS campaign is particularly important in view of the fact that the project (construction and operation of a specialized deep-water petroleum and hydrocarbon logistics base in Atuabo, Western Region) is likely to attract migrant workers, traders and other fisher folks to the Project area who may engage in unprotected sex.
In anticipation of this potential health menace and in order to curtail the possible spread of the disease, an HIV/AIDS sensitization and prevention campaign has been designed as an integral component of the Livelihood Restoration Programme developed by Atuabo Freeport.
UNAIDS Country Coordinator in Ghana, Mr. Girmay Haile, during the signing, said they are working hard towards ensuring that employers at various companies will urge their workers to use condoms, know their HIV status and reduce their sex partners. According to him, when this is done, it will spread to the communities in which they (workers) leave.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Atuabo Freeport, Steven Gray on his part, said he is glad to be part of this campaign which is also aimed at opening “an effective dialogue that will not only benefit Atuabo but also its community and a wider corporate network”.
Meanwhile, the MoU between the two entities will allow UNAIDS and AFP to corporate in the following areas:
- Corporate social responsibility to achieve zero new HIV infections, zero aids related deaths and zero discrimination in communities within the project area;
- Implementation of HIV/AIDS prevention programme to include: HIV and AIDS sensitization and outreach programmes for community members and workers, distribution of information, education and communication materials as well as condoms and development of workplace policy on HIV/AIDS
- Provision of a medical facility for HIV/AIDS testing, treatment and counseling.
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