Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) in partnership with Marie Stopes on Wednesday concluded a Capacity Strengthening Workshop for School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinators and Adolescent Health Focal Persons in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana.
The three-day capacity strengthening workshop held in Tamale, an activity under the “Youth for Health” (Y4H) project co-funded by the European Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark,sought to educate SHEP Coordinators and Adolescent Health Focal Persons in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana.
The workshop also sought to enable the youth to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and ensure that their human rights were respected, protected and fulfilled.
Addressing participants at the workshop, the Executive Director of Youth Advocates Ghana, Mr Emmanuel Ametepey, stressed that the Y4H project’s primary focus was to strengthen adolescent in-and out- of school programmes in Y4H implementing districts.
The project is being implemented at Nanton, Nanumba North, and Saboba in the Northern Region and Binduri, Bongo, and Bolgatanga East in the Upper East Region
“As major stakeholders in the adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR) sector, YAG is passionate about adolescent reproductive health and will continue to take up initiatives that will help grow, sustain and expand adolescent reproductive health systems in Ghana in order to reduce the rates of teenage pregnancy, female genital mutilation, gender-based violence, amongst others, hence this learning workshop,” Mr Ametepey noted.
In her remarks, the National Director, School Health Education Programme and a facilitator of the training, Ms Theresa Oppong- Mensah stated that, “We all have a role in ensuring we train the upcoming adolescents to be responsible adults in society, hence collaboration is important. Let’s make it a point to take up initiatives to support this course”.
On his part, the Programme Coordinator, SHEP, Ghana Education Service, Mr Ernest Amoah Ampah, highlighted the need to target both adolescent boys and girls in order not to leave adolescent behind.
MrAmpah further elaborated ways to promote Adolescent mental health, the importance of mental health, mental health problems, causes of poor mental health state of adolescents and possible signs to identify a mental health state of an adolescent.
The participants’ express gratitude for the workshop and pledged to contribute in their own way to help build and strengthen adolescent reproductive health systems in Ghana.
“Beyond the rather obvious reproductive health issues faced by adolescents, stakeholders should engage young people to unearth shared issues facing them, hence I am going back from this workshop with learnings I am going to pass to my peers to enable strengthen our adolescent reproductive health systems,” noted an adolescent reproductive health youth advocate from Tamale, Iddrisu Aliu.
“As adults and role models of adolescents, let’s make it a point to counsel them and address issues and abuse they face to avoid STIs, unwanted pregnancies. This workshop has broadened my knowledge in ASHR and will guide my future interactions with adolescents in my district and community,” Added Zenabu Sadiq, a Public Health Nurse from Tamale.
The Youth for Health (Y4H) project aims to increase demand for, and access to, high-quality, discrimination free ASRHR information and services; increase public sector willingness and capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality ASRHR information and services, and improve enabling policy and funding environment at regional, national, and sub-national level of the project.
FROM TIMES REPORTER, TAMALE