Upper East Regional Minister Stephen Yakubu is of the view the spike in HIV/AIDS in the region should be blamed on long distance bus and articulated truck drivers who make stops in the region.
The Minister who was speaking at the World AIDS Day which coincided with Farmers Day said it has become worrying considering the statistics available and believes these drivers have played contributing roles in the rising numbers.
He said “we all know that where our region is placed, HIV/AIDS is very high here. The drivers get here, they stop here. They spend a day or two here, get to Paga, stop there, spend a day or two there and then you know what goes on there; the rest is history”.
Adding that “available statistics show that the spread of the disease in the region is alarming, perhaps due to our geographic location to Burkina Faso where most of drivers plying this international road normally come and operate and then engage in all forms of nefarious activities”.
“This year’s celebration is very unique in the sense that it is being merged with the celebration of the National Farmers’ Day to give it the necessary awareness it deserves. Productivity and the health of the people are closely related and as we all know, the pandemic affects the most productive age group therefore if the necessary awareness is not created, our efforts to accelerate agriculture production would be defeated” he stated.