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Regional News of Sunday, 23 August 2020

Source: GNA

UNFPA/WRCC engage adolescent clubs in Wassa East

The one day sensitization Programme  was on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for  Adolescents The one day sensitization Programme was on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for Adolescents

The UNFPA in collaboration with the Western Regional Coordinating Council has organised a day's sensitization Programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for Adolescent Health Clubs within the Wassa East District.

Adolescents and young people represent the future of the country and investments in their health and development could be immensely beneficial to the socio-economic development of the country.

Ms. Maribel Okine, the Western Regional Acting Director of the Department of Gender, said for most adolescents and young people, this period of their lives was a time of enormous energy, heightened curiosity and innovation with associated transition challenges including HIV infection, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unintended pregnancy, low education attainment and training.

These problems relating to physical health and other non-health issues may also be associated with a set of psycho-social problems that can impact negatively on the development and welfare of young people, particularly for young women.

The sensitization was, therefore, to improve access and use of adolescent and youth-friendly health services among vulnerable and under-served young people to enhance life and living.

The clubs, included young people drawn from Atobiase, Daboase, Essaman, Brofeyedur all in the district and were taken through Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.

Ms Okine was hopeful that the education would increase patronage of such service, expose them to sexual and reproductive health services among the population of interest and education on sexual reproductive health and rights.

The Acting Director urged them to be gender-sensitive in their dealings; respect individuals irrespective of sex, support each in other to pave way for equal opportunities for both boys and girls to develop their potentials for the development of their homes, communities and the country to facilitate a sustainable national development.

They were also sensitised on the Reproductive health challenges in the District and encouraged to be good examples for others who were not part of the Adolescent clubs to emulate.

A Public Health Nurse, Ms Sheila Ampadu praised the UNFPA for supporting their activities.

"Testimonies showed that communities which were previously leading in adolescent pregnancies had reduced with the inception of the adolescent health clubs in the school and communities", she indicated.

Ms Sandra Kuntu- Anaman, Deputy Regional Focal Person, Adolescent Health and Development Programme said the Ghana Health Service as an implementing partner would keep in line with its mandate of implementing programmes and interventions to provide comprehensive health services and accurate information on health to enable young people to make healthy choices to promote their wellbeing and development.

She stated that since young people were not a homogenous group, they needed multicomponent of interventions to ensure ultimatum health benefit.

In recent times efforts have been made to establish school-based adolescent and youth-friendly health services, where service providers are trained to address the health issues of adolescents in school and make referrals to appropriate facilities and institutions where necessary.

Ms Kuntu-Anaman said, "However, not all adolescents and young people are in school and so in keeping in line with the principle of universal health coverage there is the need to design other interventions and programmes for adolescents and young people who are not in school to ensure that no one is left behind."

She added that it is critical to reach the out-of-school youth population in Ghana, with sexual and reproductive health messages and life skills training.

The GHS is focused on using a wide range of activities to engage adolescents and young people by rolling out a set of interventions in high burden districts with an emphasis on vulnerable and underserved youth.

The GHS through its Adolescent Health and Development Programme identifies the out of school young people as a priority population for intervention activities and therefore ensured a tailor-made education and information for them.