The Deputy Director in-charge of policy, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation at mission of hope for society foundation, Mr Pontius Ninwiri has discounted the perception by a section of the public that, education on the HIV/AIDS pandemic has slowed down.
Mr Ninwiri disclosed that,education on the disease had over the years shifted from the mass media campaign to interpersonal approach which he described as more effective and yielding the desired result.
He was contributing to a radio discussion on BAR on the occasion of the international world AIDS day celebration.
According to him, the mass media campaign which included radio talkshows, durbars at the market and community level does not provide people the needed privacy to interact with CSO’s and service providers about the disease.
He noted that, the door to door campaign,though very expensive provided the platform for people to interact in confidence with the service providers at their own convenience. It further gives them the opportunity to ask questions about the disease which enables the experts intervene by providing counselling and other related HIV/AIDS services when the need be, he says.
The deputy PPIME deputy stated that, because of the level of education being carried out, people now felt free to talk about HIV/AIDS which had resulted in the reduction of the perception surrounding the pandemic. He however conceded that,stigma and discrimination continued to be a major impediment militating the crusade against the disease.
According to him,the war against stigma and discrimination is far from being won,citing the attitude of the general public towards persons living with HIV/AIDS as the reason.
He has therefore made a passionate appeal to Ghanaians not to discriminate against people living with the virus but rather show them love and compassion in order to prevent the escalation of the virus.
Mr Ninwiri called on civil society organisations to intensify their advocacy role and continue to educate the public on the reality of the disease and the availability of services for the people infected with the virus to seek treatment.
He also appealed to the Ghana health service to expand the facilities to other communities to make HIV/AIDS services available to all.