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Health and Lifestyle

Upper East tackles adolescent reproductive health education

Bolgatanga, Sept.  1, GNA – Participants at a training workshop organised in Bolgatanga, by the Presbyterian Health Service-North (PHS-N) on youth friendly services, have attributed the spate of teenage pregnancies in the region to lack of Adolescent Reproductive Health Education.

Bolgatanga, Sept.  1, GNA – Participants at a training workshop organised in Bolgatanga, by the Presbyterian Health Service-North (PHS-N) on youth friendly services, have attributed the spate of teenage pregnancies in the region to lack of Adolescent Reproductive Health Education.

     Available statistics reveals that the Upper East Region has the highest records of teenage pregnancies among the rest of the regions.    

   The two-day training programme , sponsored by  the SIMAVI, a Netherlands based organisation and  attracted over 250 health service providers drawn  from  the Christian Health Association of Ghana and Ghana Health Service(GHS) was to help confront the problem.

    Majority of the participants who were community health nurses attributed the problem largely to the  lack of  education also  accepted the fact  that most of the health facilities  are  not user friendly as a result of the attitudes of some service providers towards the youth when they  go  to access reproductive health services.

    They also spoke about the lack of adolescent reproductive health corners, lack of contraceptive commodities, discrimination and stigmatisation as some of the barriers hindering the youth from accessing reproductive health services at facilities.

   To help confront the problem, the participants advocated the inclusion of comprehensive sexuality education in the school curriculum and at homes.

   Mr Ali Baba, the Regional Coordinator of the Millennium Development Goals Accelerated Framework said some of the GHS facilities   in the region do not have adolescent reproductive health corners and adolescent reproductive services are integrated into the main health service delivery systems.

   Mr Baba said the Regional Health Directorate would be organising a review meeting on the theme:  “Improving Adolescent Health: The Role of the Community Health Worker,” to chart a way forward to see how the issue could be addressed.

   “This together with the collaboration with the PHS-North will help strengthen the system to address the problem. Now the PHS-North is working in only six out of the 13 districts and urged them to include the rest… if resources are available”, he indicated.

    Mr Rudolf Abugnaba-Abanga  a programme Manager of the PHS-North who spoke on behalf of the Projects Director  expressed regret that  the incidence of   teenage pregnancies, teenage pregnancy related deaths, school dropout, ,STDs, HIV and AIDS  infections among others in the region.

    He expressed the need for the region to educate young people about their reproductive health to avoid health problems.

     Mr Abugnaba-Abanga said his outfit   is considering collaborating   with the Regional Health Directorate,   some district health management teams and Ghana Education Service   to integrate comprehensive sexuality education in routine school health.

  The facilitators informed participants that   sexual reproductive rights are derived from Human Rights, one of the Conventions of the UN which Ghana is a signatory to.

    They asked the participants to accept young people as sexual beings by ensuring that they have the right to privacy and confidentiality, conduct needs assessment and avoid stigmatisation and decimation. 

   Mr Felix Dordaa, one of the facilitators, urged the participants to take into cognisance the reproductive needs of the youth as health service providers.

     He explained that the essence of the programme was to build the capacity of the health service providers drawn from the Garu –Tempane, Binduri, Pusiga, Builsa North, Nabdam and Talensi Districts on youth friendly services.

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