The Central Regional Department of Gender, has organized a two-day peer-to-peer reproductive health programme for over fifty adolescents at Ngresi in the Assin South District of the Central Region.
As part of their role, they would provide information on how to report cases of sexual violence in their respective communities and schools, organize education and sensitisation activities to create awareness among their peers to help them deal with sexual violence against adolescents.
They were schooled on major topics including Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, gender violence, human rights, child rights laws and sexual violence.
The peer educators were selected from some selected Junior High and Senior High schools in communities such as Sibinso, Ngresi, Kyinso, Adu-Amankwa, Mano, Besease, Achiase, Atobiase, kyekyewere and Fawomanye.
They were charged to be clear about their sexual values, be honest, open and effectively seize every opportunity to scale up public advocacy.
The training was an initiative by the Department of Gender, in partnership with the Ghana Health Service, the Methodist Church-Ghana and funded by UNFPA.
In a presentation at the programme, Mrs. Thywill Eyra Kpe, the Regional Director of the Department said the general objective of the programme was to empower adolescents’ reproductive health educators to help enhance quality child health in the country.
This is geared towards empowering them to seek redress on issues of sexual, economic, emotional and psychological violence, which would make adolescents especially girls responsible for reporting perpetrators.
Good quality sex education, according to her makes young people discover and become aware of their Sexual and Responsible Health (SRH), know their rights, assert themselves and stay healthy emotionally, to pursue other aspects of education to their full potential.
She said sex education is a catalyst in addressing sexual health issues, and services as a cost-effective way of promoting healthy living among young people.
Mrs Kpe said it was for that reason that the Department and allied partners in collaboration with the government were vigorously seeking ways of incorporating teaching and learning of SRHR into the school curriculum.
She added that most young people in the area, especially girls were ignorance about their sexual life which resulted in over 500 teen pregnancies in 2018.
Therefore, she said the Department would continue to collaborate with stakeholders to strengthen adolescent reproductive health corners where young people visit, ask questions on sex, offer referral services, convenient visiting hours, with privacy and confidentiality.
They will be encouraged to ask all questions that are eating them up, without fear or intimidation and get them to talk about their daily struggles.
Mrs. Vivian Korkor Toah, a Community Health Nurse at Nyankomasi-Ahenkro Health Centre took them through the processes of contraceptive use, menstrual cycle and transition of adolescents into motherhood, challenges and health implications.
She mentioned some health challenges such as complications in childbirth, anaemia, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, maternal and neonatal deaths among others and advised adolescents not to turn to peers for medical advice since this may result in serious complications but always consult health facilities for medical attention.
Mrs. Toah further called on all, including the media, to be ambassadors and champions who can debunk myths and misconceptions surrounding contraceptive use.
Very Revered Henry De-Graft Appiah, the Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church of Assin Ngresi/Nkran Circuit charged the youth to live morally upright lives to serve as motivation to the younger ones.