A sod-cutting ceremony has been performed for the construction of an adolescent reproductive centre for the La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipality, in the Greater Accra Region.
The GH₵ 530,000 single-storey facility when completed would have a counselling unit, a laboratory, a social welfare unit, family planning and consultation units, a reading room, a dispensary, a crèche, a holding unit and four-seater toilets.
It is expected to be completed in 16 weeks.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of La-Nkwantanang-Madina, Mrs Jennifer DedeAdjabeng, speaking at the ceremony, said it had become necessary to provide such facility, to take care of the youth since some of them were becoming pregnant.
She said that the area recorded about 100 teenage pregnancy cases, last year, according to Municipal Health Directorate report.
Mrs Adjabeng said this could have dire economic and social consequences on society, with its varying health implications, which could expose the youth to sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and AIDS.
The MCE stated that the centre would offer counselling services to young people and also serve as a unit where they could share their problems, instead of confiding in friends and adults they did not know.
“The counselling unit would be equipped with well–trained consultants to help the youth share their problems since most parents find it difficult to discuss issues of sex with their children”, Mrs Adjabeng said.
She said that provision has also been made for a ‘holding’ area for missing children, where they would be kept and properly catered for before their parents come for them, adding that “it would also serve as a shelter before proper documentation is done on the victim.
The Municipal Director of Health Services, Dr Priscilla Siaw-Poku, said the centre when completed will help young people who engage in unprotected sex.
According to her, the municipality, last year, recorded about 100 cases of teenage pregnancy and this could be minimised if the youth were given the opportunity to freely share their problems with the counselors.
Dr Siaw-Poku said “even though the health directorate have been collaborating with the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service, the centre would greatly complement the roles of the two institutions.”
BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA – AKPALU