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Health News of Saturday, 22 June 2019

Source: Ghananewsagency.org

Tema Community One adolescent corner under threat

Operations of the only community adolescent corner in the Tema Metropolis located at Community One Site 19, could be closed down soon because residents want it to be turned into a Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound.

The corner, which was given to the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate (TMHD) by Mr Alhassan Issah, Assembly Member for the Kwesi Plange Electoral Area, on October 5, 2018, was to serve the youth of sites two, 13, 17, 18 and 19.

It gave an opportunity to the youth to meet service providers to discuss and get solutions to their health-related issues and other socio-economic problems.

Barely one year after its operations however, a group calling itself the Concerned Citizens of Site 19 had called on the TMHD to turn the place into a CHPS compound or shutdown the corner.

Mr Justice Eshun, Assistant Secretary of Concern Citizens of Site 19 told the Ghana News Agency that they were calling on the Health Directorate to turn the corner into a CHPS compound to benefit residents.

Mr Eshun indicated that “what they are doing there, we can’t see it benefitting the site, if they can convince us that there is a good way of benefitting from it, then fine they can operate there”

He claimed that residents were informed by the Assemblyman that a CHPS compound was going to be set up there only for them to see an adolescent corner operating there adding that “the kids only come here to shout and jump around without learning anything”.

He agreed that sexual immorality and other activities including drug abuse were highly prevalent in the site but stated that “if we are doing something like this (adolescent corner), we need to get a skillful person to advice but you can see that it’s just like they are playing there”.

Mr Alhassan Issah, Kwesi Plange Assembly member, on his part explained to the GNA that it was true that he initially wanted to establish a mini CHPS compound in the area just as the one he championed at Site two which was to provide a resting place for the community nurses assigned to the area.

Mr Issah however added that upon contacting the Health Directorate, he agreed to use the place as an adolescent corner since the youth were not confident enough to visit the corners in the various clinics in the Metropolis and therefore the need to get one in the community.

He said as an advocate of adolescent health, he saw it as a good opportunity to bring the needed help close to the people and therefore informed residents about the development.

The Assembly man revealed that he personally had to acquire a meter and renovate the building which belonged to government.

“It was a people’s shop during the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) era but the site took over when it was not functioning. I therefore wrote to them to release it for the corner project.”

He regretted that the people were now threating the nurses operating the corner and promised to have a dialogue with the opinion leaders of the area to appreciate the importance of the corner and support its operations.

Dr John Yabani, Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate, on his part, said his outfit was ready to dialogue with the leadership of the area to find an amicable solution to the issue to ensure the smooth operation of the adolescent corner.