Photo Credit: Festus Yeboah-Asuamah
[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] A call to action to end the AIDS epidemic is being unveiled at an interfaith service today (7 June) in the Church Centre of the United Nations in New York.
The service will precede a UN High Level Meeting on AIDS (8-10 June) at which world leaders will adopt a concise, action-orientated Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS. The declaration will express the commitment of nations to HIV response, and serve as a point of accountability for achieving the goals for ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030. Faith leaders will be prepared to engage their communities in action and advocacy through the service and it is hoped this will strengthen the international response to HIV.
Today’s event takes place just after Anglican leaders met a Ghanaian health minister to discuss the spread of HIV in the country. Recent figures showed HIV and AIDS in the country’s Sunyani Municipality had jumped from two per cent to five per cent, indicating that the disease was spreading fast.
Speaking at a meeting on an integrated health intervention programme, set up by the Diocese of Sunyani, Dr Paulina Appiah, the local Municipal Director of Health, said the new HIV infections were disturbing and appealed to religious organisations to help intensify sex education. She commended the Anglican Church for its health programme and encouraged other religious organisations to step up their activity to raise awareness of the dangers.
The Rt Revd Dr Festus Yeboah Asuamah, the Bishop of the Sunyani Diocese, said the integrated health intervention programme, was aimed at stemming the tide of diseases such as malaria, and diarrhoea, especially among children five years and below. He explained that as well as the spiritual development of members and the society in general, the Anglican Church recognises the need to ensure that the health, educational and other social needs of the people are provided.