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Blind woman raped,unfortunately gave birth to a HIV+ baby.

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This is not a tale told in a movie, it is the sad story of a 44-year-old blind woman, Hajara Laila, (not her real name) who was raped by an unknown man some months ago here in Accra.

Vulnerable and struggling to survive, Hajara Laila laid bare her chilling story to GHOne News’ Alice Aryeetey.

For more than 30 years, 44-year-old Laila (not her real name) has been living with visual impairment.

Laila went blind between the ages of 10 and 11 after getting an eye infection, what is termed locally as “apolo”, but her mother, who also got blind six days before she (Laila) was born, could not help save her sight.

Although life has not been rosy, her life had meaning, until that fateful day when she was raped by someone she had no idea about.

The unknown man forcefully had sex with her. “I did not go to the hospital afterwards because I did not think I would conceive, but even after realizing I was pregnant, I did not want to abort the innocent baby and I cannot also figure out who he is”, said Laila.

According to her, two months after the rape incident, she noticed some changes in her body and visited the hospital for a check-up; only to be told she was pregnant and had contracted HIV.

Laila is convinced she contracted HIV from her rapist because she had not been diagnosed previously with the condition.

Two weeks ago, she gave birth to a bouncy baby girl, who unfortunately was diagnosed with HIV.

Health experts have indicated HIV can be transmitted from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy – when the foetus is infected by HIV crossing the placenta, or through an infected mother’s cervical secretions or blood or during breastfeeding.

Although there are interventions to prevent mother to child HIV transmission through several strategies which cover the entire period from pregnancy to infant feeding, Laila did not notice she was pregnant at an early stage and started antenatal at a point when the foetus had already been infected.

Drowned in tears, she said she used to beg for alms in vehicles and was a member of a physically challenged singing band that sang at vantage points to make a living for herself.

But now, she had to stop and stay home to take care of her baby and herself, amid untoward hardship.

“Life has been really tough for me because I have never known peace nor joy in my entire life. The one who could have supported me is my mother, but she is also blind and incapacitated. Food, clothing and proper shelter have eluded us, even where I live now is not safe,” Laila said sadly.

Approximately six women are likely to be raped every week, according to a six-year statistics from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service released in 2017.

Crime rate across the country, according to the Ghana Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) also increased marginally in the first quarter of 2018.

These staggering figures and the sad story of Laila, makes one wonders what the Department of Social Development under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social protection have been doing to ensure the safety of women, especially the more vulnerable ones with some forms of disability.

According to the Director of the Social Welfare Department, Gbeawu Daniel Y. Nonah, the best thing to have been done by the raped blind woman was to report to the police for the criminal to be arrested, but since she is not able to identify the rapist, that will be difficult.

“Most at times, when people have challenges, they need to go to the social welfare office to tell them about the problem they are facing, then whatever we are able to do to assist the person we do that.

“At times we do referrals (because) we might not have money so at times we put such needy persons on TV for people to help in difficult situations or send them to the destitute infirmary at Ashanti Bekwai. For her children or child, what we sometimes do as Social Welfare department is to take the children from the parents and keep them temporary until the parents are able to find their feet to be able to cater for them then we give them back to the parents,” said Mr Nonah.

Human Rights Lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu, is not enthused about the handling of most vulnerable persons in society. As the founder of the Treasure of Life Foundation, with the aim of providing help to the vulnerable in society, he hopes to find some help for Laila, but not without some challenges.

“Why would someone even attempt or go ahead to rape a blind woman? That’s the first question, and it tells you how the moral fibre of our society has broken down completely. These stories are untold stories, if you are there, you may think they never exist but we have very wicked people in our society and that’s how come someone will go ahead to rape a blind woman and in the process leave her with HIV/AIDS, and because she did not have all the counselling and support from the beginning, she goes ahead to deliver a baby who is HIV positive”, he stated.

The human rights lawyer added that every single life counts, hence the state should be interested in every life.

Xavier Sosu, who has in the past helped many vulnerable people get justice in society said he would have ensured the assailant ends up in jail, but unfortunately, the victim cannot identify the rapist.

He is, therefore, courting for support for the blind woman and the child to help get them out of their current condition of hardship.

Laila and her new-born baby now live on antiretroviral drugs daily for survival, while battling financial and economic hardships. She said her life will be much better with a safer and better accommodation as the wooden structure in which she lives with her baby, puts her at risk daily.

She also hopes to join a singing band or form one again with her musical instruments, which are being kept somewhere for her by a Good Samaritan.

With a soothing silky voice, Laila, who receives some guidance from an HIV/AIDS model of hope, anticipates help will find her and her unborn baby soon.

Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/Alice Aryeetey, GHOne News

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Meet ken kojo Adams, the young ghanaian whose paintings can make you go hungry

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Food as we all know is any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink in order to maintain life and growth.

I was sitting under a big mango tree one hot Saturday afternoon reminiscing on how granny used to force me just to eat from her kitchen when I used to stay with her in the village. A series of questions which I couldn’t get answers to kept running through my mind; why have we abandoned granny’s kitchen and going after fast food.

Food does more than fuelling and restoring the body with energy. According to study, some individuals going through depression recover quickly after taking in a very good meal, the satisfaction alone brings back some memories hence food being a solution to some of our psychological problems.

At the moment food is very prestigious and you can testify to the fact that food makes us keep some people in our memories and I can honestly say, I haven’t enjoyed groundnut soap for the past four years after i lost my mom, it’s very unfortunate that we are forgoing our culture in the name of technological advances and the acceptance of others culture. My people, we have to reclaim our tradition.

Culture is also influenced by food through various ways such as tradition, religion and family. This aspects are what makes us distinct from others and created a whole new society.

There are variety of food which represents the various ethnic groups in Ghana, and this is another rich culture we have to protect for the benefit of the future generations.

Gone are the days when we cherish our local foods but now we only take selfies with round open pie made with yeast dough and topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of other ingredients and we call that strength living, LOL, what made you forget about the fresh kontomire leaves with your fresh plantain or cocoyam….our generation has lost it we choosing weakness over strength.

This is the time to promote your own.

Let’s talk about “Banku”, I’m sorry wetting your appetite.

Banku is a Ghanaian dish which is cooked by a proportionate mixture of fermented corn and cassava dough in hot water into a smooth, whitish paste, served with soup, stew or a pepper sauce with fish. It is mostly preferred by the people of the Southern Regions of Ghana; the Ewe tribe of the Volta Region, the Fante and the Ga tribe but also eaten across the other regions in Ghana. Banku is found throughout Ghana, and is one of the staple foods enjoyed by all tribes in the country.

I feel that sharp pain in my heart whenever I remember some of the pioneers of this mouth watering meal files a letter of departure from Ghana. Could this be possible?, are we also going to say bye bye to the meal because they are the originators, this will probably lead to segregation which isn’t good and that’s why I suggest, just as banku and its captivating green accompaniment has been recognized and adapted by almost every ethnic group in Ghana, so should we know that we are one people and there is a common culture that holds us together.

No two ways about this, ‘banku’ is the most commonest meal every Ghanaian might have tasted, we enjoy that and have the originators in mind. Refusing to correct what is wrong is what makes it a mistake. Let love lead, Ghana.

Oh less I forget!
what’s your thought on left over Banku 😋.

Left over banku lasts for up to a week, and some prefer to keep it longer than that because the fermentation process gives it more flavour and taste if stored properly. I dare you to try that.

The best feeling is when grand mom gives you your favorite.

Below are paintings from the young artist.

Story by Ken Kojo Adams

@kenkojoadams
#madeinghana
#ghanafood1

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Young blogger UrsTruly Praiz launches the Ghana Unite Campaign ahead of 2020 elections

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Elections both presidential and parliamentary as well as on any other level is one basic characteristic of every democratic nation on earth and it is just another form of exercise that gives the general masses with legitimacy in voting to make Choices and decisions as to whom they deem potential enough to hold the mantle of rule.

Amidst Ghana’s preparations towards December 7th general elections dubbed the very 8th one since time in memorial, much has been said and done thereby leaving some with joy but others in great fear and suspense.

Well, we at PraizFame Media Africa Inc, the owners of wwww.urstrulypraiznews.com regard this year’s elections as another very simple nationwide activity that should be conducted with so much peace and understanding void of fights,misunderstandings and forceful but illegal movements by anyone and for that reason comes the peace dubbed campaign “Ghana Unite”.

This very new development is one of the social media campaigns that has been set to promote peaceful atmosphere before and after the elections come December.

The masses acclaimed Ghana’s youngest blogger Emmanuel Quainoo Otoo professionally known as UrsTruly Praiz spearheads this very initiative and urges all Ghanaians to jump on this.

All one has to do is to share a 30 seconds video of him/herself urging Ghanaians to ensure peaceful atmosphere before and after the elections on WhatsApp number 0264770404

Let’s join hands and make this happen for Ghana is all that Ghanaians have.

Story: UrsTruly Praiz

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Business

AWO KOMI BEAT COMPETITION TO EMERGE WINNER AT THE 40 UNDER 40 AWARDS 2020

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Awo Komi has emerged winner at the just ended Forty Under 40 Awards held on 25th September 2020 at the Kempinski Hotel, Accra.

The Forty Under 40 Awards had 40 categories and Awo Komi beat the competition to emerge the winner for the Food/Catering and Beverage category.

The Food/Catering and Beverages category had nominees like David Agongo Nsor (Dave Culinary and Event Firm), Dr. Nana Achiaa Ankrah ( Saliscom Limited, Arise Food), Sylvia Tweneboah Koduah( Noa ma me), Mariam Senou Mohammed ( Tasty Trails), and Benjamin Nii Amo ( Awo Komi).

Awo Komi is a food production company that produces special and delicious Ga kenkey in an appealing way. It has branches across Accra in areas such as at Okponglo, Legon, First Light Kaneshie all in Accra.

The Forty Under 40 Awards is usually organized in order to identify, honor, and celebrate a cross-section of the nation’s most influential and accomplished young business leaders under the age of forty from a wide range of industries.

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