The Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health (GHARH) Project, an intervention to improve adolescent access to Health information and utilization of quality reproductive health services, has reached over 77,000 young people in Brong-Ahafo, with sexual reproductive health (SRH) information, between January and June this year.
Through its multiple communication channels, including the popular TV series programme, “YOLO” that figure of the target group were reached in the Brong Ahafo Region, where the DFID – funded project, started in 2014, is being implemented.
Mr. Moses Nanang, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Representative of Palladium Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) collaborating with other Ghanaian partners in the implementation of the GHARH Project, said on Monday.
Within the same period, he said, over 63,000 young people also received various sexual and reproductive health services through different platforms such as adolescent health corners, school health clubs and outreach points.
He was speaking at the opening of a five-day Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH), jointly organised by Palladium and the School of Public Health, University of Ghana for 65 participants, at Abesim, near Sunyani.
It brought together participants mainly from the Brong-Ahafo with only two from the Ashanti Region and they included representatives of five NGOs, the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service (MoH/GHS), National Population Council (NPC) and the National Youth Authority (NYA).
The rest were from the Ghana Education Service (GES) and a representative each from the Health Directorates of the eight Municipalities and 19 Districts in the region, as well as three representatives from the Regional Health Directorate and a six-member team from the School of Public Health.
The objective was to equip collaborative partners of the Project at the district and regional levels, with the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively plan, implement and manage ASRH Programmes.
Mr. Nanang said the over-all goal of the DFID-funded GHARH Project was among other things to strengthen the capacity of Government of Ghana to manage and implement ARH programmes at all levels.
“Towards meeting that goal since its inception in 2014, the project had supported various capacity building efforts for over 6,600 individuals including programme managers, teachers, healthcare professionals and peer educators”, he added.
Mr. Nanang said the Project’s implementation would end in March 2017 and added that sustaining the gains chalked under it was crucial as funding would be required by the partners in the districts to maintain some level of activities.
He therefore appealed to government through the Municipal/District Assemblies and other agencies to prioritize adolescent health issues by budgeting adequately for them.
Dr. Osei Kuffour Afreh, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Director in-charge of Public Health said Palladium’s presence in the Region had been very beneficial because besides capacity building and awareness creation, 54 adolescent health corners had been established and handed over to the GHS.
He charged the Municipal/District Health Directorates to endeavour to use the corners for their intended purposes and also directed them to integrate adolescent health services into their routine health services programmes to sustain the Project.
Professor Augustine Ankomah of the School of Public Health and Coordinator for the Training stressed the need for stronger and effective partnership to achieve the goals of the Project to address the issue of adolescent and teenage pregnancies which was real not only in the Brong-Ahafo Region but a national developmental challenge.