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NGO ups public education on reproductive health services

Health and Lifestyle

Sunyani, March 14, GNA – Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), a human rights media advocacy non-governmental organisation (NGO), has upped its public awareness campaign in the Brong-Ahafo Region to deepen the understanding of teenagers on sexual reproductive health.

     According to the NGO, it has targeted and was poised to ensure that 60 per cent of the adolescent population especially those in rural communities in the Region were reached to and sensitised on their sexual reproductive health right by the end of 2020.
     Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Chief Executive Officer of GLOMEF told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Sunyani on Monday that inadequate information, lack of privacy and youth unfriendly environment were some of the challenges that faced the adolescent group.
     These challenges have made it difficult for teenagers to easily access reproductive health services, especially access to safe abortion, he added.
     He expressed discomfort about the increasing trend of cases of teenage pregnancy in the Region, and expressed an urgent need to provide proper services for contraceptives, safe abortion, HIV testing, among young people.
     Mr Ahenu noted that some traditional and cultural practices and beliefs, which restrained adolescent girls from utilising reproductive health services, ought to be done away with.
     He said adolescent girls faced a lot of problems as they transcend to adulthood because they remained underserved on issues of sexual reproductive health services in the country.
     There is absence of reliable data and information, an indicative of the type of priority given to this age group in Ghana.
     Mr Ahenu indicated that over the years successive governments had not demonstrated any political will to end teenage pregnancy, and emphasised the importance for the country to develop a comprehensive and well co-ordinated approach to ensure that the knowledge of teenage boys and girls were deepened on sex.
     He called on the government to collaborate effectively with civil society organisations to intensify research efforts and designed realistic interventions to control teenage pregnancy in the country.
     According to Mr Ahenu, his NGO with support from Safe Abortion Action, Fund was implementing a project: advocating for young people access to safe abortion and contraceptive services in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
     He explained since the project started three years ago the knowledge of 7,619 in- school youth in eighth districts in the Region on access to safe abortion and contraceptive services had deepened.
     During the same period, the Foundation through its community sensitisation forum had also sensitised 6,586 out-of-school youth on access to safe abortion and contraceptive services, while 430 referrals of abortion cases were made to hospitals.
     Under the project 133 opinion leaders were trained on safe abortion related issues out of which 121 signed up as safe abortion advocates.

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