THE Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has appealed to the media to help expose organisations that misapply funds meant for HIV/AIDS activities.
It warned that the commission would not take kindly to the misuse of such funds, and expressed the hope that the media would join the commission to bring any offending organisation to book.
Speaking at the opening of a three-day writing clinic on HIV/AIDS for media practitioners from the northern sector of the country at Ejisu near Kumasi yesterday, the Director-General of the GAC, Dr Angela El-Adas, said the CAG would not only stop offending institutions from being part of the commission’s programmes, but would also prosecute officials involved.
The alleged misapplication of GAC funds by some non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) has become a source of concern to many well-meaning Ghanaians who believe action needs to be taken to plug the loopholes in the system.
Last year, the GAC dispensed with the services of two organisations that misapplied funds released for HIV/AIDS activities.
Dr El-Adas said her outfit had adopted a new multi-faceted approach to the management of HIV/AIDS under which the media would play a key role.
The workshop, organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in collaboration with the GAC, was part of the programme on the broad theme, “Using the media to create greater awareness on HIV/AIDS.”
Dr El-Adas said even though some significant achievement had been made in the fight against the disease, there was more to do to reach the expected limit.
She said there was the need to develop innovative ways of dealing with the stigma attached to the disease.
A communications consultant and media educator, Dr Doris Yaa Darteh, observed that the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS could hardly be underestimated.
She said journalists did not only have a duty to report on the disease but also to be careful about their own lives.
She urged journalists to find out issues that were critical about health development of the nation to help improve the health of the people.
The Vice-President of the GJA, Mr Affail Monney, enumerated the benefits inherent in the GJA/GAC collaboration and expressed the hope that the co-operation would continue over a long period.
He spoke against the use of the media to promote pornography and called for an end to the practice, since it contributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS.