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Make adolescent reproductive health services free

By
Josephine Nyarkoh, GNA

Kumasi, July 13, GNA – An appeal has been made
to the government to take bold steps to make adolescent reproductive services
free and more youth- friendly.

Mr. David Nartey Tekpenor, Programmes Manager
of Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), said this was vital to the fight to
bring down the high rate of teenage pregnancy and child mothers.

He noted that many a young people had not been
accessing sexual and reproductive health services because of the cost element,
concerns about confidentiality and convenience.

He was speaking at a ceremony held in Kumasi
to mark the official end of the Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health (GHARH)
Project in the Ashanti Region.

The one-year project, with the goal of
reducing teenage pregnancy in three Ashanti Districts – Atwima Kwanwoma,
Asokore-Mampong and Kumasi, was funded by UKAid-Palladium Group.

It was jointly implemented by HFFG, an NGO, Ghana
Education Service (GES), Ghana Health Service (GHS), Planned Parenthood
Association of Ghana and the National Population Council.

Mr. Tekpenor hailed the project as a success,
saying, it achieved six per cent reduction in teenage pregnancy in the targeted
areas.

He added that a total of about 7,585
adolescents were reached with accurate information on sexual and reproductive
health to aid them to make the right decisions and choices.

He said 633 out of the figure had now been
accessing sexual reproductive health services.

Again, 71 adolescents were trained under the
GHARH as peer educators and advocates.

The other high point, he indicated, was that
“the project has provided adolescents in the project areas with sources of livelihood
– they have been equipped with life skills to be economically independent”, he
stated.

Mr. Ebenezer Amankwaah, the Regional
Adolescent Health Coordinator, announced that 35 additional adolescent and
youth friendly centres had been set up in facilities across the region,
bringing the total to 60.

He said in excess of 20,000 young people had
been patronizing these centres, adding that, 235 service providers had been
trained to offer youth-friendly services.

Madam Barbara Spinns, the Adolescent Health
Directorate Programme Advisor of the Palladium Group, urged traditional and
community leaders to take centre stage in efforts at providing strong
protection for the young people.

GNA

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