Stakeholders sensitised on peer support services implementation plans

A stakeholder consultative meeting to sensitise participants about an impending peer support services provision implementation plan for the Ningo-Prampram District was  held at Prampram on Thursday.
The peer support services programme being implemented by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) with regard to adolescent sexual and reproductive health and nutrition information and services, would recruit 24 young people aged between 15 and 24 years from the community.

They would be trained as peer support services providers to help educate their peers in basic health topics like puberty, nutrition, prevention of substance and drug abuse, sexually transmitted infections, among others.
In attendance were 37 participants made up of opinion leaders, health workers, religious leaders, assembly members, police officers, educationistS and social workers who are expected to help recruit the trainees.
The peer education concept works on the premise that young people feel more comfortable in the company of their peers and are, therefore, more disposed to listen to them more than to adults.
After their training, the peer support services providers would partner with the health workers to provide preventive services like education and referral of their peers who have issues to the health worker or health facility.
Health Director for Ningo-Prampram District,  Madam Gifty Ansah, said the participants were expected to mobilise the community to support the upcoming programme, while the peer support services providers would influence their colleagues positively adding, “the workshop is one of the steps in the process towards achieving the programme objective.”
“This will be integrated in all the adolescent health services, the reproductive and child health services that the GHS is already providing,” she said.
She encouraged all to help make the programme a success to ensure a bright future for the adolescents who were the future leaders.
Madam Ansah said the district had taken delivery of more COVID-19 vaccines and encouraged residents 18 years and above (excluding pregnant women)who had not been vaccinated to visit health facilities for the jab.
Adolescent Health Focal Person for Greater Accra, Ms Diana Bona, said the goal of the programme was to increase access of information to out- of- school- adolescents to bring about behavioural change.
She took participants through how the programme works, how to recruit peer support services providers and addressed their concerns.
Ms Bona advised the participants to endeavour to recruit people who were morally upright and willing to volunteer for a successful exercise.
The meeting also discussed the Girls Iron Forlic Tablet supplementation programme going on in the district, where girls aged 11 and 19 years are given iron and folic acid tablets as supplement to shore up their blood levels, prevent anaemia and improve educational performance.
A student from Prampram High School, Ms Catherine A. Quarshie, shared her experience at the meeting, regarding how a peer educator linked her up to a health worker to resolve an issue she had.

FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, PRAMPRAM

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