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Take Your Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Seriously - Afrikids
 
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19-Oct-2017  
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Afrikids Ghana has marked its child’s rights festival with an advice to the adolescents to seek sexual reproductive health rights services at adolescent reproductive health centers situated in seven districts of the Upper East Region.

Country director of Afrikids Ghana, Nicholas Kumah, gave the advice at the Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Programme known as the Futures Freedom held in Bolgatanga. The programme is aimed at enhancing the knowledge of women and adolescent girls on their sexual reproductive health rights and also to improve access to sexual reproductive health services in seven districts in the Upper East Region.

The programme is also part of a broader effort by Afrikids to support tackle key problems in communities that affect girls and women such as maternal mortality, teenage pregnancy and early marriage.

Mr. Kumah, said since its inception 2015, Futures Freedom project has established and resourced 7 adolescent friendly centers in 7 districts in the Upper East Region namely; Bawku East, Talensi, Builsa North, Builsa South, Binduri, Nabdam districts and Kassena-Nankana Municipality.

He said young people visit these centers to interact with their peers, learn about their sexual reproductive health rights and also access sexual reproductive health services.

According to the director, the project is working with the District Health Management teams to strengthen the provision of counseling and family planning services and the provision of contraceptive for young people in target communities.

A total of 60 community health volunteers have been identified, trained and resourced to sensitise and educate community members with a view to improve their knowledge and change attitudes towards women and girls sexual reproductive health rights. An extra 631 women have been provided with livelihood support and 11,250 pupils in 219 schools belong to 250 sexual Reproductive Health Rights (RHR) Clubs.

Mr. Kumah observed that the teen stage of growth is very challenging as far as the growth of the adolescents is concerned, especially in the midst of their exposure to various social and mass media platforms which he said if not well considered, can lead them to teenage pregnancy, early marriage resulting to they dropping out of school and destroying their future dreams.

He reminded the adolescents that they have a voice and a choice in relation to their sexual reproductive health rights but this comes with responsibilities. He therefore, urged them to access sexual reproductive health rights services at adolescent reproductive health centers in their respective districts while taking the studies seriously since education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty and climb the social ladder.

Cletus Anaaya, Bolgatanga Area Programme manager of Afrikids Ghana told journalists on the sidelines of the festival that maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy are on the increase and some socio-cultural practices that still inhibit development. It was for this purpose that the Futures Freedom was launched to sensitise community members on adolescent reproductive health issues. “We want to create awareness among our people about the rights of adolescents so that they will be able to understand these issues and to be able to demand them for the betterment of their life.” He emphasized.

He said through health talks and community durbars; the project is achieving the desired goals as many community people now see family planning as an alternative tool that can better their life.
Mr. Anaaya said manuals have been developed which the beneficiaries are using to educate themselves and their family and community members.

John Apaabey, a member of the School Help Educators Programme from Builsa South district recounted the usefulness of the Futures Freedom. He said the peer educators are doing very well in their respective schools in providing education on sexual reproductive health through group discussions, debates and quizzes.

He also said the most of the beneficiaries, especially the girls who stayed away from school in time past because they could not meet basic needs like uniforms, exercise books and other learning materials are now regular in school because Afrikids also provides these things to support the beneficiaries.

Three beneficiaries; Master Sampana Bright, Nabdam, Miss Esther Abanga, Bawku West district and Miss Mbangiba Nabilatu, Kassena-Nanka Municipality said the project has exposed them to public speaking through debate and quiz programmes and also to understand their sexual reproductive rights and responsibilities.

All the seven adolescent clubs drawn from seven districts in the region took part in a debate and quiz competitions. Bawku West district club worn the debate competition while Talensi District club worn the quiz competition. The competed districts received a trophy while the contestants received exercise books, school bags, mathematical and pens.
 
 
 
Source: The Chronicle
 
 

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