Adolescent Health Champions, assisted by a team comprising staff of ARHR; UNFPA; Department of Social Welfare, Ghana Health Service and Department of Gender and Social Protection, undertake a scorecard accountability assessment of some health facilities in the Ashiedu Keteke Sub-metropolitan assembly, Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) and Nzema East Districts under the project ‘Empowering Adolescent Girls through improved access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Quality Gender-responsive SRH services’.
The essence of the assessment is to ascertain how responsive and adolescent friendly these health facilities are in providing reliable information that can address the various challenges adolescents go through with regard to their sexual and reproductive health. While maximum effort, globally, is being put in place to ensure equitable, quality and accessible health care for all, regardless of the social class or status, religion, age, race, etc, of beneficiaries, a cross section of the world’s population is often left out.
Adolescents who form about 16% of the world’s population and usually in the stage of their lives where they experience a lot of physical changes with their bodies are often overlooked in ensuring that their health needs are adequately provided and met. Health facilities are mostly not accessible to adolescents; usually due to cultural, traditional or religions norms and stigmatization of the society which tends to limit them from accessing vital information and services for their sexual and reproductive health needs.
While health facilities are entreated to be adolescent friendly, there is the need to assess these facilities to ensure that they are adequately prepared and equipped to provide adolescent friendly services. A data collection tool was developed to be used for the scorecard assessment and the Adolescent Health Champions were trained on the use of the tool and empowered to collect information on adolescent friendly health services in the three districts.
Through discussions with heads of these facilities and some adolescents who have used the facilities in the last three months; using the carefully designed questions, the adolescent health champions collected information pertaining to how friendly these health facilities are to adolescent users. The data collected will be analyzed and gaps identified in these facilities with regard to adolescents’ ability to access sexual and reproductive health services will be used for advocacy to ensure these young ones are able to visit health facilities and have their needs met.