Residents at the Effia Nkwanta district of the Western Region have been warned against the sharing of local enema syringes known in the local parlance as 'bentua' as the Western Regional HIV/AIDS Cordinator at the region, Dr Roland Sowa, reveals the sharing of the said syringes was the main cause of high prevalence rates there.
Addressing a two-day 'Enhanced HIV/AIDS Training' workshop in the region, Dr Roland Sowa revealed that upon investigations into the major cause of the spread of the disease in the Western Region, there has been tangible proof that 'bentua' had a major role to play.
Narrating an experience had with an affected family at Effia Nkwanta, Dr Ronald Sowa revealed that few months ago, a particular AIDS victim died in Takoradi, thereafter, three other relatives from the household of the AIDS victim also passed away in turns within that same period of time. The intermittent and unexpected deaths thus forced the HIV/AIDS Unit to conduct rapid investigations into the family deaths upon which they found out that the entire household used a common syringe (Bentua) to douche themselves with herbal treatments .
But it seems the story never ended with the said family alone as Dr Sowah further expressed worry over the culture of sharing enemas (Bentua) in public especially across various public toilets. According to their finds, some attendants at public toilets gave enema syringe to users of the facility on demand for a douche - a development which is feared to be highly infectious when it comes to the spread of HIV.
Meanwhile, officials at the workshop have tasked the Western Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association to concentrate on the public-media awareness of HIV and its transmission modes.
Records from the Ghana AIDS Commission Show that the Greater Accra Region followed by the Ashanti and Western Regions are highest when it comes to the spread of HIV/AIDS with unprotected sex, substance abuse and blood transfusions been the leading causative factors.