The Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights has commenced implementation of an initiative to empower adolescent girls through improved access to comprehensive sexuality education and responsive reproductive health services with funding from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
This initiative will enable adolescent girls to be assertive by providing them with sexuality education, sexual and gender based violence prevention information and easy access to sexual reproductive health services.
ARHR is working with local NGOs in the Ashiedu Keteke sub-metro in the Greater Accra Region; Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) Municipal assembly in the Central Region and Nzema East Municipal assembly in the Western Region to target out-of-school females between ages 10-19 years including persons with disabilities.
Activities include sexuality education for these out-of-school female adolescents, documentation of information, education and communication materials on sexuality education for use by these adolescents, strengthening the capacity of selected local NGOs and community facilitators and a sports day for persons with disabilities. It is expected that more adolescent girls will be enabled to access adolescent friendly health services and also exercise their agency on sexual and reproductive health.
ARHR held inception and orientation meetings with stakeholders of the targeted communities on Wednesday, 14th November, 2018 for Ashiedu Keteke Sub-metro in the Greater Accra Region and on Thursday, 15th November, 2018 for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) in the Central Region and Nzema East in the Western Region, respectively.
The Executive Director of ARHR, Madam Vicky T. Okine, welcomed participants of the Accra meeting and reiterated the imperativeness for reproductive health education for adolescents and the integration of sexual reproductive health rights into the national discourse on health. She also emphasized the integral links between sexual and reproductive health and family planning in particular, and overall development outcomes, health and well-being of women, children and adolescents in a strengthened primary health care system.
Miss Okine concluded that, the rich experience of ARHR will motivate the organization not to relent in its mission towards the achievement of improved reproductive and maternal health outcomes in Ghana.
The Municipal Chief Executive of KEEA, Nana Appiah Korang applauded the implementation of such a project in his municipality and revealed that teenage pregnancy was very rampant in KEEA and believed the project will help to address this challenge.
In the Nzema East district, the Municipal Coordinating Director pledged his support for the implementation of the project and assured that his municipality will support the formulation of bye-laws towards obtaining improved access to comprehensive sexuality education by adolescents.
Other stakeholders who attended the meetings included the traditional authorities, religious leaders, municipal assembly members, health professionals, local NGOs and the media.