The Country Director for Compassion International Ghana, an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Padmore Baffuor Agyapong has stated that about 1.8 million children are exploited into prostitution and pornography.
He further added that 1.2 million children also fall victim to child trafficking every year.
In view of that, he has called on parents, as well as Ghanaians in general to help reduce the canker which has contributed to the high rate of HIV/AIDS in the country.
Mr. Agyapong made this known at the launch of an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign at Mankessim in the Mfantsiman municipality of the Central region on Tuesday.
The programme, which was on the theme ‘Getting To Zero Stigmatisation, Marginalisation And People Living With HIV/AIDS’, attracted hundreds of school children drawn from various communities in the municipality.
Mr. Agyapong added that 145 million children have lost one or both parents through HIV/AIDS and therefore stressed the need to arm children and adolescents with the information to protect themselves from abusers.
“Children will most likely continue the negative mindset of their parents and adults, unless we target them with special campaign as we are doing today and for the next three months.
“Recent statistics indicates that about 30,000 children are living on the streets across Ghana and are prone to sex abuse and are also likely candidates of HIV/AIDS infection” he added.
The country director hinted that in other African countries, HIV/AIDS is probably the most serious health threat and therefore it is crucial that swift and decisive action be taken especially in the areas of education.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Mfantseman municipality, Kwaku Hayfron in a speech read on his behalf, said HIV/AIDS is the second on the list of top ten causes of deaths in the municipality after malaria.
Mr. Hayfron disclosed that Mankessim and Yamoransa are some of the areas where the most at risk population are found because of their strategic location to commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men (gay).
He said the assembly quarterly contributes 0.5% of its total common fund to help fight the menace by way of monitoring and coordination.
He revealed that the municipality recorded 229 of HIV cases in 2008 as against 320 in 2009.
He added that 337 cases were recorded in 2010 and currently the municipality recorded 393 in 2011.
Mr. Hayfron stated that the trend shows that about 42% of the mostly affected are within the ages of 30 to 39 years and 32% are between the ages of 20 to 29 while 27% are between the ages of 40 to 49.
Source Daily Guide Ghana