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Regional News of Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Source: GNA

Ghana Federation of Disabled threatens gov’t

The Ghana Federation of the Disabled on Monday threatened that it would write officially to the United Nations (UN), if the government continues to exclude it in national policy implementation processes.

According to the Federation, though Ghana has ratified, and is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), which mandates member-states to actively engage the disabled in policy implementation processes, successive governments continued to breach the convention.

Mr. Matthew Annor Kodom, the immediate past Chairman of the Brong-Ahafo Regional branch of the Federation, gave the warning at a day's sensitization seminar on the Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health Project at Tanoso, near Sunyani.

It was organized by the National Youth Authority (NYA), with funding from the United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UKAID) through the Palladium Group, an international non-governmental organization.

The seminar aimed at sensitizing participants on the adolescent reproductive health, and was attended by members of the Federation and some representatives from the municipal and district assemblies in the Region.

Mr. Kodom noted with concern that successive governments had been reluctant in addressing the numerous challenges facing PWDs, though they appeared to be disabled friendly to the international community.

He pointed out that it had become imperative for the Federation to inform the UN about how African-UN member states treated people with disabilities in all aspects of political, social and economic lives.

This, according to Mr. Kodom, would enable the UN to easily identify and assist in addressing challenges confronting the disabled on the continent.

He cited that the 2007-2011 Ghana Health Service strategic plan did not consider or mention people with disabilities.

Mr. Stephen Mensah-Etsibah, Director of Organisation and Programmes at the NYA, noted that any compromise on the reproductive health of adolescents and the youth, portended the doom of national human resource capital base.

He stated that since the wealth of every nation could be measured by the state of its adolescents and youth development, there was the need to evolve policies and legislations governing adolescents’ sexual reproductive health.

Mr. Mensah-Etsibah stressed that “the NYA is poised to ensuring that a healthy youthful population contributing positively towards national and community development is established”.

The Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health Project is a three-year project being implemented by the Palladium Group, and funded by the British government at the cost of 11.3 million Euros.

Expected to end by 2017, the project, being implemented in all the eight municipal and 19 district assemblies in Brong-Ahafo, is aimed at helping to reduce maternal mortality, teenage pregnancy and provide related sexual reproductive health needs among adolescents in the Region.

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