Reproductive health outreach held at James Town

During a reproductive health outreach held in the community, adolescents of James Town, a Ga community in Accra were last Tuesday schooled on the best practises to stay safe from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.


The programme was organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and other partners.


The event which brought together young people from various communities in the James Town localities was themed; “Promoting Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Ashiedu Keteke” aimed at bringing sexual and reproductive health services to the door step to the adolescents in the community.


Mr Niyi Ojuolape, the UNFPA country representative to Ghana said the UNFPA and United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency is committed to working with young people to harness their potential, and provide them with quality and informative comprehensive sexuality education and services.


He said the outreach was part of the UNFPA’s effort to protect adolescents of James Town from early, unprotected sexual encounters, substance abuse, early or child marriages and unsafe abortions which has become a norm in the society.


He acknowledged that the adolescent stage of development was a challenging one and all adolescents needed guidance, and must be empowered with the appropriate information, especially on their sexuality and reproductive health rights.


He stressed that adolescents also need to have access to sexual and reproductive health services and safe spaces, where they can confidently engage in healthy peer-interactions.


“You need mentors and counsellors who do not impose on you but rather guide you on the right path to achieve your full potential,” he said.


Mr. Ojuolape entreated the adolescents present to take advantage of the Adolescent Health Unit at the Ussher Polyclinic and visit there frequently to access the family planning services, information, counselling services on sexuality and reproductive health, nutrition and all services provided at the facility.


The UNFPA was according to him poised to delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.


An adolescents Counsellor at the Ussher polyclinic, Mrs Enyonam Agbali who Spoke to the Ghanaian Times in an interview said the adolescents at James Town where confronted with a lot of problems ranging from gender based violence, teenage pregnancy, same sex and poverty amongst others due to their upbringing and the culture of the people in the community in which they grow.


She said in James town community, the children become exposed to sexual activities and are often sexually active by age eight, and majority beget babies at age 15 to 19.


“It is very common to see children carrying babies in this community and this is a worrying trend as most of them are prone to a lot of illness,” she said.


The Usher polyclinic according to her recorded three children between the ages of 10 and 14 with pregnancy and 598 pregnant adolescents from the ages of 15 to 19 in 2017.


She said the clinic has within the first half of this year recorded 228 pregnancies amongst adolescents aged 15 and 19.


She said as of the end of last year, a total of 1,909 adolescents from the community assessed varied from of family planning services while about 130 of them were infected with HIV.

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey                       

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