By Dennis Peprah, GNA
Sunyani, July 17, GNA – Friends of Health Association (FOHA), a health centered Non-Governmental Organisation has conducted separate free health screening exercises for the clergy, and some residents in the Sunyani Municipality.
The exercise gave opportunity to about 71 pastors, including their female counterparts, to test for their HIV/AIDS status, body mass index, sugar level, ear, nose and throat examination, hypertension and diabetes.
Only one female pastor tested HIV positive, the Reverend Jefferson Kwasi Agbotro, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FOHA, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on Monday and added that she had been referred to a hospital.
In addition, 200 men and women, according to Rev Agbotro also benefited from similar screening exercise, but added that none of them tested HIV/AIDS positive.
He said the exercises formed part of activities to mark the ninth anniversary celebration of FOHA and were led by Dr Raf Mens and Dr Maarten Van Der Ven, Medical Doctors from the Netherlands.
Prior to the screening, Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, the Brong-Ahafo Regional President of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, and Mr Robin Appiah, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Health Promotion Officer took the beneficiaries through HIV/AIDS education and proper hygiene.
Rev Agbotro expressed discomfort about the new HIV infections, worrying that the 2.7 per cent HIV prevalence rate in Brong-Ahafo was unacceptable, recommending that the campaign against the disease ought to be intensified in the Region.
He said though HIV/AIDS testing was not compulsory, there was the need for those who had not known their status to do so, so that they could be placed on early medication.
Rev Agbotro said his NGO was poised to bring healthcare delivery to the door-step of the people, and appealed to NGOs, corporate bodies, philanthropists and religious organisations to support its activities.
He added that the anniversary was being celebrated under the theme “action against HIV/AIDS now”.
FOHA activities lined-up include mass health screening, nutrition talks, clinical and HIV services among others.